Topics and Guidelines for Third Annual Leslie Reindl Peace Essay Contest
The Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, a collaboration of 70 peace and justice organizations statewide, is pleased to announce topics and guidelines for its third annual peace essay contest. The essay contest is open to all grade 9-12 students living in Minnesota at the time of the contest. Three scholarships will be awarded: first prize–$1000; second prize–$750; third prize–$500.
Essay must be the student’s original work, 800-1000 words long, and word-processed. It must not have been published elsewhere or submitted to other contests. A teacher, youth leader or parent must sign a statement on the application form confirming that the essay is the student’s original work.
Essays will be judged on originality, depth and clarity. Do provide definitions, examples and reasons to support your ideas, making very clear how your action supports the larger goal of peace and justice. Please proofread and edit carefully.
Prizes will be awarded, and winners will be invited to speak at an event in early fall, hopefully the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
AND NOW THE TOPIC:
Former President General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “I know the horrors of war, as only a soldier can … I also know that every weapon made, and every rocket launched, is a theft from the poor.” So, choose an action you care about, like nuclear disarmament or calling for less military spending; or focus on the “theft” created by war, thru climate change, racism, hunger, homelessness,
refugees and immigration, or any number of other issues. Get involved with that action, through your school, place of worship or some other organization. Then write about your experience in such a way that someone reading it might be inspired to get involved themselves. Or create a strategic plan for an action you plan to initiate yourself. It could be dealing with school bullying, a student letter writing campaign to end war, or some other injustice. If you can, start the
initiative and write from that perspective. If that’s not possible, simply research and carefully write the plan needed to accomplish your objective.
Organizations on the MAP website are all involved in peace and justice action you might become a part of, and we have speakers who can come to your group to further help with ideas. Address questions and comments, as well as completed essay, to Larry Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail, to MAP, Attn: Larry Johnson, Box 16396, Mpls., MN 55416. Essay should be postmarked no later than May 15, 2018. If submitting by email, no later than 11:59 p.m. May 15, 2018.
The Dream Continues
In August 2017, the leaders of the four historic black denominations in Minnesota called together the heads of Minnesota’s Mainline Protestant, Evangelical and Catholic communions for a listening session to address the unmitigated racial division that exists within the Minnesota Christian community, as well as the resurgence of hate crimes and divisive rhetoric, both in Minnesota and in the nation. The black leaders invited their white peers to embark upon a reparative process of learning, reform and healing.
From this historic gathering was launched a black-led initiative to rid the Christian Church in Minnesota of racism and white supremacy. At the lead are the Historic Black Church leaders, Bishop Richard D. Howell, Jr. (Pentecostal Assemblies of the World); Rev. Dr. Billy G. Russell (Minnesota State Baptist Convention); Presiding Elder Stacey L. Smith (African Methodist Episcopal Church) and Bishop Fred W. Washington (Church of God in Christ), with support from Rev. Richard Coleman of Hope United CDC. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota Council of Churches, and Transform Minnesota are partners in this ongoing initiative.
A community worship service honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination will be held at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 11, at the Basilica of Saint Mary, 88 – 17th St. N., Mpls. 55403. The event will focus on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s final sermon, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Fifty years ago, Dr. King declared in his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” sermon, “Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point … We’ve got to see it through.” The Dream Continues.
(This worship service was originally planned for April 3, but a major snowstorm called for a postponement.)
Help kids learn to read by becoming a volunteer tutor in elementary schools for the 2017-2018 school year. Volunteers with Reading Partners Twin Cities make a lifelong impact on children who struggle with reading. Give as little as one hour a week; flexible weekday times are available. Follow a highly effective, structured and easy-to-use curriculum; no formal teaching experience is required. Website: readingpartners.org. Email: volunteerTC@readingpartners.org.
Lutheran Blind Center
The Lutheran Blind Center was started April 23, 2016, at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3430 E. 51st St. On the second Saturday of every month blind people of the Minneapolis area are invited to Faith Church for a two-hour event, from 12 to 2 p.m., that includes a meal, Bible study and fellowship free of charge.
Help is needed. Please consider getting a group from your church or several friends together to help with this project. Please call Carol M. Zemke at 612-799-5782 to help or participate as a guest. Or call Faith Lutheran Church at 612-729-5463. Reservations are requested.
Space is Available
If you are looking for a place to hold meetings or markets or concerts or family get-togethers, consider a church in your neighborhood. You might pay a small fee and develop some new partnerships. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, at Howell and Laurel, for example, is a very beautiful old church (from 1895) with an inner courtyard garden and a warm sanctuary with a 9-foot grand piano. They are very open to sharing their space with neighbors as are the churches in your neighborhood. Something to think about.
The Summit Lighthouse
Mark Prophet was the founder of the New Age movement The Summit Lighthouse. Growing up in the 1930s and ’40s, Prophet considered his master to be Jesus. Later he believed that his life was guided by Ascended Masters, including Jesus. He opened his heart, mind and soul to a master from the tradition of the Far East, Morya, who led him in the rigors of discipleship. In 1957 Prophet published dictations from El Morya, “Pearls of Wisdom,” and The Summit Lighthouse movement was born. After his death, his work was carried on by his wife, Elizabeth Clare Prophet. The fundamental principle of the teachings of the Ascended Masters is that all sons and daughters of God have a divine spark inside themselves, which is their potential to realize the universal Christ within and ascend to God as Jesus did. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Community Teaching Center of The Summit Lighthouse at 6035 Nicollet Ave. S. holds worship meetings every Sunday morning from 10 to 11:30. The sanctuary is very interior, warmly lit and filled with images and statues of Ascended Masters from many different traditions.
Faith and Food Production
In summer, the Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden holds Open Garden Night (weather permitting) every second and fourth Sunday, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 3201 22nd Ave. S. The gatherings are welcoming and informal. Live music happens often, and light refreshments are always served amidst garden tours and good conversation. Stop on by, and bring a friend!
The Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden was created to address food production issues—What are we going to eat in 20 years? Who will have access to food? What will the earth produce? Will it be enough? Will it be safe? It is a collaboration between Gandhi Mahal Restaurant; First Nations Kitchen, a ministry of All Saints Episcopal Indian Mission; and Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, which mobilizes Minnesota’s faith communities to address climate change.