30 Days of Peace continues

A popular component of the Alpena Peace Coalition’s 30 Days of Peace initiative returns tonight at Cabin Creek Coffee in downtown Alpena. Those united in the cause of peace will gather there to share An Evening of Poetry, Readings, Blues and Jazz from 7-9 p.m.

Included among the presenters will be several youth winners from last year’s Peace Contest that is held annually in area schools. The contest encourages students to create a project that reflects a concept of peace and entries cross a wide range of media.

Other upcoming 30 Days of Peace activities also include a Women’s Interfaith Panel that will present Reflections on Peace and Unity Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. at Alpena County Library. The panel will be comprised of two members of WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Metro Detroit), who will share their personal responses to their differing faiths, what brought them together and what keeps them working for women’s empowerment, peace and justice.

The two panelists are Gail Katz, who is Jewish, and Dr. Paula Drewek, who is Baha’i. Their appearance in Alpena is sponsored by the Religions Study Committee at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Alpena and LARCC (Lutheran Anglican Roman Catholic Congregational churches of Alpena).

“We are trying to promote peace by studying the different religions, and thought it would be a nice tie-in with the Peace Coalition’s efforts,” said Janice Boboltz, a member of the Religions Study Committee.

Katz is a retired teacher from the Berkley School District where she taught English as a second language to immigrant students and sponsored diversity initiatives in the district. A member of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, she has been involved in bringing Jewish and Chaldean women together in the Metro Detroit area to get to know one another and form a joint women’s social action initiative.

Drewek is a retired professor of humanities at Macomb Community College and recently served as coordinator of Macomb’s Multicultural and International Initiatives Program. She has been a Baha’i since her teen years and has taught the faith widely in presentations and workshops in the United States, Canada, India and Southern Africa.

The second in a four-part series of contemplative services that center on Reflections on Non-Violence will take place Sept. 23 at noon at First Congregational United Church of Christ. The series is held on consecutive Tuesdays in the church’s intimate Barksdale Chapel.

“We’re borrowing bits and pieces from the Micah passage on peace and also pulling in readings from different faiths each week,” said Betsy Adamus, who puts considerable work each year into planning the series which is both a candlelight and contemplative one in the taize tradition.

“It gives people a chance at the beginning of their work week or their day to just refocus and refresh,” Adamus said. “It’s not a long service and it’s in such a gorgeous setting.”

The 30 Days of Peace begins each year on Sept. 11 and continues for 30 days with a variety of prayer services, films, discussions and music events, all intended to put the spotlight on issues surrounding the need for peace on a personal level as well as a global level. It is sponsored by the Alpena Peace Coalition.