Through a generous donation from retired Homestead Wakefield teacher Leigh Brown Faunce, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County has planted a Peace Pole near the entrance to their church in Churchville. Ms. Faunce saw her first one at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis which sparked an idea she brought back after her visit there. She enlisted Rhoda Huston, Sara Morton, Beth Wood-Roig, her husband Bill Faunce and Rev. Lisa Ward to help in planning a special service, educational exhibits, an interactive activity and a ceremonial planting.
Peace Poles are products of an initiative inspired by Masahisa Goi in Japan in 1955. He felt that after the devastation of World War II the world needed to work towards peace. He was the founder of the World Peace Prayer Society, a non-profit, non- sectarian NGO at the United Nations which is dedicated to uniting people across the globe through the universal prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.
To date, more than 200,000 Peace Poles have been planted in over 190 countries. However this one is believed to be the first in Harford County where the message is engraved in 12 different languages. Peace Poles can be found in a wide variety of places including town squares, schools and places of worship but some of the extraordinary locations include the Pyramid of El Giza in Egypt, the Magnetic Pole in Canada, Gorky Park in Russia, Sarajevo and the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima. Both political leaders such as former President Jimmy Carter and religious leaders such as Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and the Dali Lama have dedicated Peace Poles.
Former UUFHC minister Rev. Lisa Ward reflects, “Peace is not a passive way of being, it is an active, mindful engagement with the blessings of life. The Peace Pole is a simple, elegant reminder of the willingness for peace, offering its prayer to all who might take up the endeavor.”
The Peace Pole may be viewed at UUFHC which is located at 2515 Churchville Road, Churchville. Their website is uufhc.net.