From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Octogenarian receives Presbyterian Peace Fellowship's Peaceseeker Award

Date 20 Jun 2002 09:19:44 -0400

Note #7289 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Octogenarian receives Presbyterian Peace Fellowship's Peaceseeker Award

by Emett Barfield

Columbus, OH-At its annual breakfast this morning, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship awarded the Peaceseeker Award to Lois Baker. The feisty octogenarian received her award for a life long commitment to the cause of World Peace.

According to the award: "As a physical therapist you have reached out with healing hands to war's victims. Walking for those who could not, you have hiked the Appalachian Trail on behalf of landmine victims and shared the vision of the mine ban treaty with friends and strangers." The money she raised by her trek was used to clear a mine field in Mozambique.

She spoke of the support that she had received from strangers as well as friends  along the way. One day in Georgia, she said, "I was standing on the trail and the beauty of the day struck me. I recalled the words of Anne Weeks' 'Easter Morning.'" Such moments of inspiration reinvigorated her for the journey.

The keynote speaker was Mike Beard, president of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He is a lay member of the Methodist Church and active author of articles in major newspapers in the United States. "More Americans die," he said, "from gunshot wounds each year than die form leukemia, emphysema, Alzheimer's disease, arteriosclerosis, or AIDS." "The second leading cause of death among teenagers is gun deaths." Cataloguing an impressive list of statistics, Beard moved the crowd with the importance of genuine gun control.
General Assembly Moderator Fahed Abu-Akel greeted the group. He said, "You are pioneers in this church for taking peace seriously! We are living in the most powerful nation under the sun. We must discover the way to peace." He assured them of his years of support and concluded his remarks by saying, "We need to say to the world, 'we believe in Peace. We follow the Prince of Peace.'"
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