Hesston College will join thousands of others around the world in celebration of the International Day of Peace, or “Peace Day,” on Sept. 21.
Celebrating Peace Day is fitting for Hesston College as a campus community that is home to students from 23 countries, including more than 55 international students. Likewise, as an institution established with Anabaptist values of peace and non-violence, the celebration is a chance for Hesston to live out its commitment to exemplify the life of Jesus Christ.
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. Established in 1981 by the United Nations, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to and build a culture of peace. The 2018 Peace Day theme is “The Right to Peace,” which celebrates the 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A masterworks concert by the Hesston College Music Department and featuring a mass choir of students and community members and a professional orchestra, will be the capstone event at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus. The concert, entitled “Grant Us Peace,” will be a performance of Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem.”
Hesston will take the spirit of the day even further, with activities planned for four days.
All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.
Friday, September 21
- 11 a.m. – Forum “The Residue of Conflict…Why Peace?”, Hesston Mennonite Church
- Festivities begin with campus forum, featuring guest speakers Ron Moyo, outreach pastor at Whitestone Mennonite Church, and Armelda Xhari, Hesston College sophomore from Lezhe, Albania. We’ll hear from a former student who lived through conflict in his country and a current student born in the years immediately following conflict in her country…why they value, embrace and are activists for peace. To close chapel, a peace walk through the new on-campus Global Pathway will be available, ending at the peace pole. The Global Pathway features the flags of the countries represented at Hesston in the fall 2018 semester. Armelda and Ron will be available to the campus community for a talk back session during lunch.
Saturday, September 22
- 10 a.m. – Putt for Peace, Hesston College Disc Golf Course
- Join college and community players in a friendly round of disc golf. An optional $5 bag tag may be purchased. No experience necessary.
- 7 p.m. – Grant Us Peace masterworks concert, Hesston Mennonite Church
- Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams for chorus and orchestra. Guest soloists Holly Swartzendruber, soprano, and Therin Smith, bass.
- 8:15 p.m. – Peace Fair, Community Center, Hesston Mennonite Church
- Celebrate peace with presentations from Hesston College students and community members.
Sunday, September 23
- Participants are encouraged to attend a local church celebrating Peace Sunday, including:
- Hesston Mennonite Church
9 a.m. Sunday School; 10 a.m. Fellowship; 10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Mel Lehman will share “Spiritual Resources to Help End the Forever War” presenting how we can be peacemakers in Syria.
Monday, September 24
- 11 a.m. – chapel, Sanctuary, Hesston Mennonite Church
- Featuring a panel discussion comprised of students who have lived in conditions of civil unrest or otherwise lacked peace in their lifetimes.
- 7 to 8:30 p.m. – Promoting Peace for the Next Generation, Room 119, Smith Center
- Louise Matthews from the Lion and the Lamb Peace Arts Center at Bluffton University will demonstrate how to use children’s literature, art and music to promote children’s deep understandings and commitment to being peacemakers in their world.