About 90 members of the community celebrated the International Day of Peace on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia.
Pastor Melanie Adams, of First United Methodist Church, welcomed the guests and led the opening prayer.
“This is the 70th anniversary of the declaration of human rights and we still haven’t solved it,” Adams said. “Human rights are everyone’s rights.”
Dr. Adrian Douglas, president of Cloud County Community College was the keynote speaker for the event.
“What we say and do matters and can make a real impact,” she told the group. “Differences are awesome, also its what keeps life interesting. We are all in this daily struggle together.”
Dr. Douglas also expressed her joy in being a part of the Fall Fest celebration in Concordia this weekend.
“There is no community without unity,” she said.
Following her speech the tables worked on a group artistic project led by Pastor Janai Robinson-Makarov, Concordia Lutheran Church, and Daniil Makarov.
Guest speaker was Yolanda Nuncio, an immigration and DACA activist from Grand Island, Neb., speaking on the topic of “What peace means to me.” She detailed the recent situation with immigrant arrests in O’Neill, Neb., and described how the area communities responded. She also touched on the futures of DACA students.
The closing prayer was led by Sister Anna Marie Broxterman. As the group broke up for international refreshments and fellowship, she encouraged everyone, “Resolve to make the world a better place by being the peace that you desire.”
Members of the International Day of Peace committee are Sisters Judy Stephens, Anna Marie Broxterman, Janet Lander and Christina Brodie; Pastor Melanie Adams, Pastor Janai Robinson-Makarov, Daniil Makarov and Pastor Scott Tempero.
The International Day of Peace was first celebrated in 1982. It has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly a day “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”
Earlier this month, Concordia Mayor Sam Sacco signed a proclamation designating an International Day of Peace in the city. The theme for this year was, “The Right to Peace — The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”