Celebration  for PEACE
By Joanne Tucker



How does one find inner calm on 9/11 when faced with mind-numbing media coverage of crumbling twin towers and the latest terrorist attacks throughout the world? What if, this year, you were offered a completely different choice — one that is centered on the principles of peace and love as core values to live by?

There is a tranquil place on September 11 to reflect on peace. At the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach, you have the opportunity to attend a unique event called Celebration for Peace, beginning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Imagine spending the whole day at the scenic back bay of Newport Beach, surrounded by people involved in peaceful activities, listening to live music and guest speakers! You can sit and sun on the beach, watch children splash in the deep-blue ocean waters or stroll around the beautiful grounds, lined with booths from organizations and groups promoting peaceful living or a cleaner environment, and mingle with like-minded souls who long for a world at peace instead of experiencing war and violence.

“It’s not about politics or religion. Our Celebration for Peace event focuses on the belief that peace is possible for our families, schools, communities, and most importantly, in our hearts and minds,” says Dr. Jim Turrell, pastor of the Center for Spiritual Discovery in Costa Mesa, one of the five Religious Science and Unity churches in Orange County sponsoring this event.

Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, adds, “Peace is possible for the first time because we are coming together as a community in favor of a peaceful future for everyone, everywhere, right now.”

“Right now” are the key words. “We must embrace the idea that a peaceful world is ours in the now,” says Hansen. “Otherwise, we’ll continue to believe it somehow exists in some far away future, eluding our grasp. The future always begins in the present.”

This idea is not new. Certainly Gandhi knew in his heart and mind, even in the darkest moments of British home rule, a solution to India’s independence existed when he first championed the cause of non-violence. Martin Luther King, Jr. did too when he marched the streets of Montgomery, Alabama to secure a peaceful future for minorities and all of mankind. Both of these visionaries lived their dream in the “now” rather than waiting and hoping others would step forward.

In February of 2004, five ministers from a non-profit organization, International New Thought Alliance, met and decided to step out for peace in a big way. They combined their vision of thousands of people coming together and learning how to bring peace into their hearts and minds through guest speakers, live music and activities.

These ministers are: Rev. Sandy Moore, Center for Universal Truth-San Juan Capistrano; Rev. Margaret Mohit, Unity Community Church-Laguna Hills; Revs. Lynn and Steve Gabrielson, co-pastors, Pacific Church-Lake Forest; Rev. Heather Clark, Capistrano Valley Church of Religious Science and Dr. Jim Turrell, Center for Spiritual Discovery-Costa Mesa. All of these pastors and volunteers from their congregations collaborated to bring Celebration for Peace to Orange County.

Today, their vision is a reality. The five ministers of the sponsoring churches chose the Newport Dunes Water Front Resort for its beautiful beach setting on the back bay of Newport Beach. Its spectacular state-of-the-art white tent is situated bayside overlooking the Newport Dunes Marina and seats up to 1,000. A beach-front cabana area has been reserved for swimming, wading, sunning and other beach activities.

Two Peace Celebrations, performed in the 14,000 square foot tent, are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Upon entering the huge white tent, you can watch a multi-media presentation that presents peace in our community and the world, listen to prominent peace advocates speak about their vision for a non-violent world, and enjoy the music of many well-known vocalists and musicians from So. California.

Musical guest artists appearing on stage in the tent venue, will include Karen Gallinger, long regarded as one of Southern California’s finest jazz vocalists; Harold Payne, accomplished singer/songwriter who travels the globe spreading his inspirational music; guitarist/singer Mark Wood, a seasoned veteran who has performed with a variety of world-class bands; the music of the PD Band, a popular Orange County group for over 20 years; and the Center Band from the Center for Spiritual Discovery, consisting of some of Orange County’s finest professional musicians.

A five-church choir will also perform along with award-winning singer/guitarist, Joe Rathburn, and local musical duo, Aigenta. An evening concert is also scheduled in the tent beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Fun activities and games are planned throughout the day for children, teens and the whole family, with uplifting live music emanating from a white pavilion situated close to the beach area. Of course, everyone can enjoy a cool and refreshing dip in the waveless lagoon and eat a variety of popular American foods, sold by the Newport Dunes.

Children at this event have an opportunity to write inspiring messages of gratitude which will be sent to our men and women in uniform as a special peace activity. Various organizations and groups have designated booths, as well as vendors, to visit at your leisure.

“When we were kids, we often played at war. Let’s play at peace with the same passion to make a difference. We’re not just companions in a storm; not just sailors with a lifeboat mentality, trying to survive. We’re magnificent! We can calm the seas. Let’s visualize world peace together,” says Grammy and Golden Globe-winning songwriter/singer, Paul Williams, who practices the philosophy of Science of Mind® founded by Dr. Ernest Holmes.

The Newport Dunes Water Front Resort is conveniently located at the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy. and Jamboree Rd. at 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA. Tickets prices include access to tent performances in the morning, afternoon or the even-ing concert. $15 for adults, $3 for children ages 0-12, and $5 for teens ages 13-18. Parking is included in the ticket price. Food will be available from the Newport Dunes Water Front Resort.

To reserve a booth for your organization or group, or if you would like to be a vendor at this event, please  call (714) 754-7399, ext. 22.

For more information, please visit our website www.celebrationforpeace.com.  Intern Practitioner and ministerial student, Joanne Tucker is on staff at the Center for Spiritual Discovery as its communications director. She also writes for many publications.

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