Peace Pole Dedication
The Trinity Church of the Brethren, 2220 N. Main Ave., Sidney, was blessed on New Year’s Day by the donation of a peace pole, given by Fumio and Kyoko Arakawa. The Arakawas are from Japan but living in Sidney, through Honda. A peace pole is a four-sided pole which has the phrase "may peace prevail on earth" written on each side, in four different languages. Peace poles were first created by Masahisa Goy in 1955 in Japan. The World Peace Prayer Society began distributing peace poles around the world in 1983, and since then there have been approximately 100,000 peace poles placed in over 180 countries. Kyoko has been active in promoting world peace through the World Peace Prayer Society since the first World Peace Prayer and Flag Ceremony in Los Angeles in 1986. Her husband, Fumio, became active shortly after that.
The Church of the Brethren has a 300 year history of being a "Peace Church". Part of the basis for its position stems from the Hebrew word "shalom" which has to do with health, unity, wholeness, and the well-being of all creation. The church takes literally Jesus’ statement, "blessed are the peacemakers," and has sought to work for a fair and just peace for all people. Key elements in the peace stance have been involvement in service and relief efforts in war torn countries.
When Kyoko learned that the Church of the Brethren promotes peace and that their peace pole had been destroyed several years ago, she and her husband wanted to give the church this gift. The dedication ceremony consisted of praying for peace for all of the countries of the world by name, as Kyoko showed flags from each one, with the congregation responding "may peace prevail on earth". It was a meaningful experience and the church thanks the Arakawas for their generous gift.