Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Muslims, Jews, and Christians March for Peace

Update: Check out these photos by Dave Boyd of the JC Press. Including yours truly. Now I'm busted.

Our march for peace made the front page of today's
Johnson City Press.




A congregation of more than 50 people silently marched along State of Franklin Road as the sound of Sunday afternoon traffic quickly passed them by.




An American flag, children holding the hands of their parents and a sign that read “United we stand for peace and justice in the Holy Land,” could clearly be seen by every individual who drove past this group.

Although they were marching silently, their cry for peace rang throughout the city.

The group consisted of locals from the Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths. They marched from ETSU to the Carver Recreation Center for a prayer vigil.

The Vigil for Peace was held in response to the recent atrocities in Gaza and to enlighten the community of East Tennessee to the turmoil in Israel and Palestine.

On the way back from a similar march in Washington, Shanna O’Brien and RJ Powell, coordinators of the event, felt they needed to bring awareness to the people of the region upon returning to Johnson City.

“The only way for peace is unifying people together,” said O’Brien. “If we here in Johnson City can bring three faiths together in a peaceful way, then maybe there’s hope that we can spread that to other areas and ultimately the world.”

As the vigil began, people from all three Abrahamic faiths sat together and listened to representatives from each faith speak on what can be done to bring peace to both sides of the conflict.

The humanity of the people in the Middle East was the main focus of all those who spoke at the vigil.

“It’s not Quarans, Old Testaments or Torahs that die in wars; it’s human beings,” said Mike Pinner, representative of the Christian faith.

Taneem Aziz, president of the Muslim Community of Northeast Tennessee, reminded everyone in attendance that there comes a time when turned heads must be straightened, closed eyes must be opened and silence must be broken.

Aziz hopes the turnout of the event not only provides awareness and prayers for peace in the Middle East, but also leads to a political activism for the people of East Tennessee.

“If we see each other face to face and remain human in each other’s eyes, I think that’s ulitmately the solution on a small scale and a broad scale,” O’Brien said. “If we can see the humanity in each other, then maybe we can stop killing each other.”


Tricities.com reported on it as well. Make sure you check the videos at both websites.



Over 100 were present at the Carver Center! Thanks to all for making this stand for peace!




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