Monday, 3 March 2008

Praying for peace with the United Nations' Secretary General

At the end of the working day today we gathered in the chapel to pray for peace. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon paid an official visit to the World Council of Churches today. You can read the WCC press release of the visit here. Official discussions focused on the contribution churches can make in combatting climate change.
Later Ban Ki-moon attended a short prayer service for peace which saw us join our prayers for healing, reconciliation and peace in Kenya, in Korea, in Serbia, Kosovo, the Middle East, Darfur and Southern Sudan ... in the world.
A choir from the local Korean Church led our singing and as we prayed so we all sang in Korean "Ososo, ososo..." "Come now, O Prince of peace ... reconcile your people".
On the altar as we prayed was a cross from Liberia made from a spent armament shell. George Togba and 30 compatriots produce crosses from bullets or shells. Togba was a car mechanic before the civil war and said "In a dream I had the idea of turning spent bullets into symbols of peace."
The marketing of throusands of these peace symbols to Europe and North America has turned the project into a source of moderate income, it began with the help of the Lutheran World Federation's Department for World Service.
Togba, who joined rebel forces during the conflict to protect his family, is now a Christian peace activist and supports his family by peaceful means.

"And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Micah 4:3b

The prayers for peace service can be found here, (When I have time to post them!).