Thursday, April 18, 2019

Palm Sunday Procession for Peace and Prayer Service in Des Moines April 14, 2019

By Christine Sheller

Sunny, relatively warm weather ushered in Palm Sunday 2019, as approximately 150 individuals gathered for the Annual Palm Sunday Procession for Peace and Prayer Service at the Central Presbyterian Church on Grand Avenue in Des Moines.
  We were welcomed by the pastor at Central, Wallace Bubar, and were given directions on processing by Patti McKee, a member of the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace (DMFCP), and at approximately 3:00 pm the procession began.  We were led by a police officer in his car, then by two donkeys as we were given one lane of the street.  People carried placards, and signs promoting peace as well as land justice, as the theme this year was “To Love and Defend Our Sacred Earth.”  People also carried palms in remembrance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem days before his crucifixion, over 2000 years ago.  There were many cosponsors for this event, including Iowa Peace Network. The Des  Moines Faith Committee for Peace planned the event.
                                                                 (Krieg/ AFSC)
                                                        (Krieg/ AFSC)

We arrived at the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ on Ingersoll Ave. for the Prayer Service after a nice walk down Grand, and down 36th to Ingersoll, back to 42nd and Ingersoll, at Plymouth.

(Sheller/ IPN)

                                                                   (Krieg/ AFSC)

  Gathering  music as well as the  music throughout the service was led by Mary Beth Mardis- LeCroy.  We were led in a call to worship by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, Richard Pates.  The opening song was “Restless Weaver.”  An Invocation was given by Alan Scarfe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa.  Next, we were welcomed by the senior pastor at Plymouth Church, Matt Mardis-LeCroy.  Linda Dorsey, a member of the DMFCP, also welcomed attendees.  Next, Bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church led us in a Prayer of Confession, which included words of confession on polluting our earth, and committing violence.  An Assurance of Pardon was also read.

The last third of the service began with a Scripture Reading by Jacquiline Saxon, Executive Minister of the  Mid-American Baptist Churches of Iowa and Minnesota.  Minna Bothwell, pastor at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, introduced the featured speaker, Matt Russell, Executive Director of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light.  He gave a motivating talk, sharing about his work at Iowa Interfaith Power and Light as well as organic farming.  Next, Minna Bothwell shared a prayer with the children who were present, after they joined her in the front.  Our Offering was introduced by Carmen Lampe-Zeitler, member of the DMFCP, where she invited everyone in attendance to write an action they would take to help with climate change, on a paper cut-out of a hand we were given upon arrival.  We were then invited to bring them up as we felt led, to stick them on a board in the front.  It was a neat scene to see the collective array of actions people committed to take.  We sang “The Whole Word is In God’s Hands,” and took part in an Offering Prayer- a Creation Care Covenant on a slip of paper we were also given on arrival.

Last, we were given a Charge and a Blessing, by Joan Fumetti, of the Interfaith Green Coalition.  We sang, “Turning of the World” to end the service. 

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