Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“What is Justice?” Prayer Service for Peace & Social Justice held in Des Moines Mon., June 11, 2018

By Christine Sheller

A moving prayer service and peace walk occurred Monday, June 11, 2018 in Des Moines, sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of MFSA (Methodist Federation for Social Action), along with several other cosponsors of organizations within the United Methodist Church.

Participants gathered outside Hy Vee Hall, where conference goers were taking a break from business, (the Iowa Annual Conference was going on for the UMC) and choosing to walk and pray for peace during their lunch break.  Others not from the UMC conference took part in the walk and prayer service as well.

Walkers started at Hy Vee Hall, and proceeded downtown to Cowles Commons to the Peace Garden, where they were welcomed by musicians and places to sit!  Participants sang a few gathering songs, then proceeded through the prayer service.  Bishop Laurie Haller (of Iowa Area UMC) spoke, citing the issues which were on the program, and how the UMC supported them.  After the song, “What does the Lord require?” participants were then welcomed by Laura Sweet, the Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of the Des Moines Performing Arts, as we were on Civic Center property.

More speakers were on deck to speak on four major issues:  gun control, health care/ mental health, immigration, and racial justice.  These issues were championed by Rachel Hollingsworth, Kathi Mitchell, Sol Varisco, and Rev. Abraham Funchess respectively. 

We took part in a liturgy, and one more song: “Sent out in Jesus Name.”  Song leaders were Rita Carter & Jean Swenson; and on the keyboard was Linda Clark.

Christine Sheller is editor & coordinator at Iowa Peace Network.  She is a graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary.

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