Unification News for January 2002

Detroit Service for Peace Leads with Vision at Peace Gathering

by David Kasbow

Akiko Ikeno lit the fuse. Coming as a dynamic representative of the Second Generation to our winter workshop, she shared Hyun Jin Nimís vision of "Service for Peace" with our young people and parents. The timing was perfect. Just days earlier Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, of the House of Wisdom Mosque, had invited us to his Mosque for New Years Day to celebrate "One Day in Peace", a new holiday initiated by the UN and supported in Detroit by Congressman John Conyers. The Imam had a press conference days earlier inviting young people from different religions and cultures to come together to foster peaceful understanding. We told the Imam that on Jan. 1st we celebrate Godís Day, our biggest holiday of the year, and that we would be happy to send some young people since we would be gathered at our church for our celebration

Now, after Akiko spoke, instead of just attending to support what the Imam and Congressman were doing we had something to offer as a way to substantial peace. Our American Family Coalition (AFC) director, Art Roselle, brought 20 of our young people all wearing "Service for Peace" T-Shirts that one of our families made.

To open the program Imam Elahi, Congressman Conyers, a local minister and a Rabbi welcomed the 100 young guests. Art was invited to be the first to speak and presented the congressman, the Imam and others with Service for Peace T-Shirts. They were clearly inspired by the vision we had to offer. Part of the program had the children break off into discussion groups where they focused on different topics related to creating peace. After the groups finished four of our young people, including nine-year-old August Lindsay, spoke before the whole group reporting the results of their talks with the other young people.

The event was covered on the evening news and in both papers the next day. We are now planning our first service project with the Imam and the congressman. For us, Service for Peace is an idea whose time has come.

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