From the Worldwide Faith News archives

UMNS# 04414-Day of Peace, Sept. 21, will bring all faiths

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Wed, 15 Sep 2004 18:29:36 -0500

Day of Peace, Sept. 21, will bring all faiths together to pray 

Sep. 15, 2004	 News media contact:   * ( ) * {04414}

NOTE: A photo and other related resources are available at

A UMNS Report
By Steve Smith*

At a time when terrorism, war and death are in the headlines, more than 1
billion people of various religious faiths will stop what they're doing Sept.
21 to pray for peace around the globe.

The United Nations has declared that day-a Tuesday-as International Day of
Peace. At a time of religious and political separation, the simple, timeless
act of prayer will unite believers like Debra Sullivan and Abdul Mohamed.

Sullivan and her friends at East End United Methodist Church in Nashville,
Tenn., are coming together to pray. So are Imam Mohamed and dozens of Muslim
men seven miles away at the Islamic Center of Nashville.

"Prayer changes things and it makes a difference," says Sullivan, as she
leads prayers for about a dozen United Methodist Women members at East End.
"God answers prayers, and I've witnessed that in my own life."

The United Nations established the International Day of Peace in 1981, and
people across the world began celebrating it the next year. U.N. leaders
recommend that people mark the day by:
7	Observing a minute of silence.
7	Ringing bells.
7	Lighting candles.
7	Planning local events.
7	Having houses of worship ring their bells at noon.
7	Holding prayer and meditation vigils.
7	Using universal invocations and prayers.
7	Planting peace poles.
7	Holding peace flag ceremonies.
7	Participating in projects with people from different generations and
7	Writing letters to local newspapers.

At U.N. headquarters in New York, the day is marked each year with a special
ceremony near the Peace Bell, which is cast from coins donated by people from
60 countries. 

The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has listed on its Web site,, resources for worship, preaching and music to commemorate the
day. The churchwide Board of Global Ministries' Women's Division also
includes information on its Web site,

At East End Church, a big "amen" erupts from Sullivan and the other women as
they finish their prayers.

"If people will seek him and love on him and ask him to change things, and to
intervene into the affairs of man, then maybe we'll see a change in this
country and all the nations," Sullivan says.

Becky Waldrop, also a member of the church's United Methodist Women chapter,
says praying transcends religious differences.

"The truth is that where people believe in God, in many respects their
religious beliefs, whether Muslim or Christian, help bring us together in
prayer," she says.

At the mosque, Mohamed says he's encouraged by the prayers of Christians,
Muslims and other religious faiths. Nearby, six men kneel and pray.

"We're praying for peace," he says. "And this is a human requirement of
living-that people live in peace. God listens, and he hears. And I believe if
you ask God sincerely from your heart, he will answer."

*Smith is a freelance writer in the Dallas area.

News media contact: Fran Walsh, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5458 or


United Methodist News Service

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