September 16, 2010
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – In conjunction with the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, Lake Junaluska invites the community to attend a Gathering for Peace Tuesday, September 21, to celebrate the International Day of Peace with prayer.
“The International Day of Peace occurs during our annual Lake Junaluska Peace Conference,” said Jimmy L. Carr, Executive Director of Lake Junaluska. “We invite all who hope for peace to join us as we gather to celebrate and pray for peace in our community, our individual lives, our nation, and the world.”
For Our World, a poem written in response to the events of September 11, 2001, by Mattie Stepanek (1990-2004), will be read at the Lake Junaluska Peace Pole gathering. Mattie, who was born with a rare disorder known as Dysautonomic Mitcochondrial Myopathy, was a bestselling author, publishing six collections of his Heartsong poetry and one collection of peace essays that all became New York Time bestsellers. Mattie’s mother, Dr. Jeni Stepanek, will lead the Lake Junaluska Peace Celebration for Youth and Children, September 18-19.
“This poem was written by Mattie on 9/11/2001, as he watched his personal friends perish during terrorist attacks,” said Jeni Stepanek. “It is his response to universal questions of ‘What now? What next?’ He hoped that one day, these words would serve as an international poem for peace. It is my hope that these words now be spread around the world…and that they serve as a catalyst for changing mottos of 'revenge' into credos of 'rebuild.' We must rebuild the mosaic of humanity.”
“The International Day of Peace is a long-standing United Nations initiative, now celebrated globally on September 21,” commented Rev. Roger Dowdy, Director of Ministry Events at Lake Junaluska. “This connects Lake Junaluska to global peace, and we look forward to sharing this special event with persons from the surrounding communities.”
The Gathering for Peace will take place at 8:15 a.m. at the Lake Junaluska Peace Pole, which is located between Memorial Chapel and Stuart Auditorium. For more information and to read For Our World, please visit www.lakejunaluska.com/peace-celebration.