Monday, June 15, 2015

Annual march and prayer service for peace and social justice held in Des Moines

Sponsored by the Methodist Federation for Social Action, the annual March and Prayer Service for Peace and Social Justice attracted many persons from the Methodist church and various peace organizations across Iowa and in Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Ia. -- A great number of people turned out for the annual March and Prayer Service for Peace and Social Justice in downtown Des Moines this year just after noon on Monday, June 8, 2015.  The Methodist Federation for Social Action along with several other United Methodist Church associations including Conference Board of Church and Society and Do No Harm sponsored the march.  Many other Des Moines and Iowa peace groups were represented, as participants in the march, also as backdrop of the prayer service, as several people held signs promoting peace behind the speakers through the prayer service.  Representation of Iowa Peace Network was present.

The march proceeded from the south doors of Hy-Vee Hall to Hansen Triangle (on the corner of Watson Powell, Jr. and 2nd Ave.) where the prayer service was held.

Representatives of Catholic Peace Ministry hold their sign, and as 'Mis-education'
(Iowa Peace Network/Christine Sheller)

The theme of the march this year was: “Therefore, Go: Be Peacemakers!”  Several people of prominence were ‘witnesses’ to this peace and spoke at the prayer service including Mayor of Des Moines Frank Cownie, and the office of UMC Iowa Conference Bishop Julius Trimble.  Among the stories shared, Mayor Cownie spoke of the affirmation he has received abroad for the hope America gives to the rest of the world, referring to their assistance and aid abroad.  He concluded by sharing his favorite of the peace quotes to be used in the litany, with sung response, at the conclusion of the service (from the new Peace Garden, being built in the new Cowles Commons- the old Nollen Plaza).  It was by Marlia, an 8th grader who said, “If I could have three wishes, world peace would be all three.”

Additional music, woven throughout- both in gathering and parting, rounded out the service, with group-singing including songs such as “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

Participants in the march hold sign: "Israeli Military Detention- No Way to Treat a Child."
(Iowa Peace Network/Christine Sheller)

Christine Sheller is co-editor at Iowa Peace Network, former coordinator of IPN (2009-2011) and has been Church of the Brethren representative on the IPN Joint Oversight Committee for the last several years.  She lives and works between Des Moines and Eldora, also working as Office Assistant at Softshell Computer Services in rural Eldora.

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