"Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come."
"Peace begins with a smile."
The theme for this week's CST activities was 'Peace, Perfect Peace'. This was because it was 'National Relaxation Day' on 15th August and will be 'International Day Of Peace' on 21st September.
Each year the 'International Day of Peace' is observed around the world on 21st September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.
The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. By April 2021, over 687 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 100 countries have not received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare.
In line with the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire last March, in February 2021 the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for Member States to support a “sustained humanitarian pause” to local conflicts. The global ceasefire must continue to be honoured, to ensure people caught in conflict have access to lifesaving vaccinations and treatments.
The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them: the virus attacks all without caring about where we are from or what we believe in. Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another.
And we must make peace with nature. Despite the travel restrictions and economic shutdowns, climate change is not on pause. What we need is a green and sustainable global economy that produces jobs, reduces emissions, and builds resilience to climate impacts.
The 2021 theme for the 'International Day of Peace' is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.
It was 'National Relaxation Day' on 15th August. We asked members what do they find are the best ways to relax?
- listening to classical music
- reading a book
- a walk on the beach
- stroking their dog or cat
- a nice hot bath
- a cuddle (or cwtch) from a loved one
- a few quiet moments of reflection.
What about more formal or disciplined approaches?
- tai chi
- playing an instrument
Next, we asked members to list some 'Signs Of Peace' ...
- kiss on the cheek (or two)
- reverse 'v' fingers
- olive branch
- white flag
Ask everyone to join their hands, bow their heads and say 'Namaste' to each other. The meaning of 'Namaste', a Hindu blessing, is ...
"My soul honours your soul
I honour the place in you where
The entire universe resides.
I honour the light, love, truth
Beauty and peace within you,
Because it is also within me.
In sharing these things
We are united, we are the same
We are one.
IDIOMS ABOUT PEACE
We next completed the following idioms about peace ...
Peace perfect - PEACE
Make love not - WAR
A peace - OFFERING
Anything for a quiet - LIFE
As quiet as a - MOUSE
At peace with - THE WORLD
Bang out of - ORDER
Breach of the - PEACE
Calm before the - STORM
Cool, calm and - COLLECTED
Domestic - BLISS
Flower - POWER
Give peace a - CHANCE
Hold your - TONGUE
Keep calm and - CARRY ON
Knock your heads - TOGETHER
Justice of the - PEACE
Make one's peace with - SOMEONE OR SOMETHING
No rest for the - WICKED
Peace and - QUIET
Peace in our - TIME
Peace of - MIND
Piece of - CAKE
Piece of the - ACTION
Real piece of - WORK
Ship shape and in good - ORDER
ORGANISATIONS OF PEACE
It is 'International Day Of Peace' on 21st September. Ask members to identify the logos of some international organisations concerned with and about peace and answer a question or two about each.
1. This is an intergovernmental organisation tasked with promoting international co-operation and creating and maintaining international order. There are 51 member states. The headquarters are in Manhattan, New York.
What colour helmets do their peacekeepers wear?
2. This is is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries. It is home to 2.4 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Members work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace, amplify the voice of small states, and protect the environment.
Who is its head?
3. This organisation helps people in crisis, from natural disasters to vulnerable people in home countries. When there is an tsunami, earthquake or hurricane etc, causing loss of life and severe destruction, a 'Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal' is launched.
Where is the organisation based?
4. Fighting to end human rights abuses, especially for people imprisoned for their beliefs or lifestyle, this organisation also campaigns internationally for an end to the death penalty.
True or False. Members are asked to send letters to prisoners of conscience, so they know they are not forgotten?
5. Fighting to protect the earth and for a peaceful future, this organisations campaigns have included 'Save The Whales' and 'Save The Rainforests'.
What was the name of their famous ship, which was sunk following a terrorist attack in July 1985?
6. Concerned with 'Banning The Bomb' and preventing nuclear war through peaceful protest, this organisation established the 'Greenham Common Protests' in the 1970s.
What do the initials stand for?
7. This organisation works in over 190 countries and territories to save children's lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.
What do the initials stand for?
8. SONG. 'Imagine', John Lennon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOgFZfRVaww
How long did John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'Bed In' last in 1969, as a protest against the Vietnam War?
9. This leading international sporting event occurs every 4 years, featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. More than 200 nations participate.
What do the 5 rings represent?
10. These games are a major international multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power (e.g. paraplegia and quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, post-polio syndrome, spina bifida), impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency (e.g. amputation or dysmelia), visual impairment and intellectual impairment.
Which Welsh athlete is now a 'Dame Of The British Empire'?
11. These games are an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports, including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.
Have a guess at what the name means?
12. This organisation is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 that works in the field of wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment.
Which animal is used as its symbol and what does it eat?
13. Flower power was a slogan used during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a symbol of passive resistance and non-violence ideology. It was rooted in the opposition movement to the Vietnam War. These people embraced the symbolism by dressing in clothing with embroidered flowers and vibrant colours, wearing flowers in their hair, and distributing flowers to the public, becoming known as flower children.
Which city/district was said to be the 'spiritual home' or birthplace of the movement?
Can anyone think of any other organisations concerned with peace?
14. SONG. 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)', George Harrison - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLsKWWF94cw
Which other major hit about the weather did he have in 1969?
MEN AND WOMEN OF PEACE
Show members the faces of these men and women of peace. Ask them to name each individual and discuss how these people have inspired us and generations of citizens of the world.
15. This man was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, he led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
16. This man was a British politician, army officer, and writer, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. As Prime Minister, he led Britain to victory in the Second World War.
17. This man was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement in America from 1954 until his death in 1968. He was awarded the 'Nobel Peace Prize' in 1964.
18. In 1950 this woman founded the 'Missionaries of Charity', a Roman Catholic religious congregation which had over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; orphanages, and schools.
19. This man was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. Prior to this he had been held captive for 27 years, mainly on 'Robben Island'. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. He was awarded the 'Nobel Peace Prize' in 1993.
20. Awarded the 'Nobel Peace Prize' in 2014, this woman is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest 'Nobel Prize' laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at the time banned girls from attending school. She was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, but recovered well after surgery and is now a student in 'Oxford University'.
21. This spiritual leader (14th) is an important figure for many reasons. Since the time of the fifth incarnation, his personage has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet, where he has represented Buddhist values and traditions.
22. SONG. 'Across The Universe', The Beatles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKP82AZ9zmE
You will hear the word 'Ohm' repeated through this song. Which religion includes the chant 'Ohm mani padme hum'?
23. This is the first Jesuit Pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first Pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century. Throughout his public life, he has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, concern for the poor and commitment to interfaith dialogue.
24. A member of the 'Democratic Party', he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency, serving two terms from 2009-2017, and previously was a United States Senator from Illinois. He was awarded the 'Nobel Peace Prize' in 2009 for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.
25. He was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union. Although committed to preserving the Soviet state and to its socialist ideals, he believed significant reform was necessary, particularly after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. He withdrew from the Soviet–Afghan War and embarked on summits with United States President Ronald Reagan to limit nuclear weapons and end the Cold War.
26. He was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories in occupied Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The 1993 film '********** List' starred Liam Neeson as the war-time hero.
27. He is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the 'BBC Natural History Unit', the nine natural history documentary series forming the 'Life On Earth' collection. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, 3D and 4K. In 2018 and 2019, he received a Primetime Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Narrator'.
28. She is a Swedish student who is credited with raising global awareness of the problems posed by climate change especially to young people, and with holding politicians to account for their lack of action on what she has named the "climate crisis".
29. Her extensive charity work included campaigning for animal protection and fighting against the use of landmines. She was the patroness of charities and organisations which worked with the homeless, youth, drug addicts and the elderly. From 1989, she was president of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
30. Perhaps the holiest of men who has ever lived and proclaimed the 'Son Of God' by Christians across the world. His 'Sermon On The Mount' is possibly one of the most peace inspiring texts there has ever been. (Who is pictured here playing him in the 1970s series '**** Of Nazareth'.)
The Beatitudes - Matthew 5: 3-10
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
31. SONG. 'Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace', Susan Boyle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUI2EyYIEKs
Which Saint is this a prayer to?
Discuss with members how Sundays have changed since we were children ...
- Everyone went to Church
- Sunday School for the children
- Shops were closed
- Sunday lunch was a big family meal
- Very little traffic on the roads
- Early closing for pubs
(Current 'Sunday Trading Laws' are 26 years old!)
32. SONG. 'Harvest For The World', The Christians - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hRbzaP4H3U
When is 'Harvest Festival' celebrated in the UK?
33. SONG. 'Pipes Of Peace', Paul McCartney - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwyFTRGiIUU
In which culture would people smokes 'Pipes Of Peace'?
Which game of football does the video for this song illustrate?
34. SONG. 'Blowin' In The Wind', Bob Dylan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G58XWF6B3AA
Ask members to name some different types of wind?
What name is given to the scale which categorises the strength of gales in the UK?
35. SONG. 'Turn Turn Turn', The Byrds - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKP4cfU28vM
Which book of The Bible do the lyrics of this song come from?
What Bible story saw a dove carrying a sprig of olive to signal the end of the flood? -
36. SONG', 'One Love', Bob Marley - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0NentNBRlQ
What religion was Bob Marley?
Make a dove mobile.
Draw a dove template. Cut out dove shapes from card.
Have each member decorate a unique 'Dove Of Peace'. On the reverse side, have them write a message of peace.
Hang them from a branch for display.
A COUPLE MORE SONGS FOR A SINGALONG