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Celebrating Peace

Krishna Ramoutar (Sathya Sai Baba Organisation), Pastor Dr Rae Walker (SDA), Rev Anthony Rampersad (Presbyterian), Leela Ramdeen (Catholic), Neisha Hutton (Bahai) and Sr Jasmine (Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre) all hold peace candles at the start of the inter-faith service. Photo: Gerard-Paul Wanliss

The Living Water Community (LWC) celebrated the International Day of Peace last Sunday at their Frederick Street chapel with a gathering of different faiths.

Reflections and prayers were given by members of the Hindu, Bahá’í, Presbyterian and Seven Day Adventist (SDA) faiths, and representatives of the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre and the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago. Leela Ramdeen, Chair of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice represented the Catholic Church.

LWC co-foundress Rhonda Maingot in her welcome, reminded the group assembled that the only control the individual has is the control of self, which the Non-Violence Begins with Me movement sought to foster in “one person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time”. The non-violence movement was launched in March with 40 Hours of Prayer/40 Days of Action.

The theme of self-responsibility ran through all the reflections, each presenter citing the importance of putting the Source, God, foremost. SDA Pastor Dr Rae Walker, in a short but impassioned reflection, said: “To experience non-violence, we have to experience the love of God…. the very source of peace, the very source of love is Jesus Christ. We are made in his likeness, fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Sr Jasmine of the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre reiterated that “non-violence is a practical experience of being harmless in every way” which meant non-violence to self, others and the environment. Presbyterian minister Rev Anthony Rampersad highlighted that all are affected by violence: the victims, communities and the perpetrators themselves.

The programme was best summed up by Krishna Ramoutar of the Sathya Sai Organisation, in the repeated words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see”.

The evening had its share of uplifting music as well, culminating in all the performers, the Presbyterian choir, the musicians Los Gitanos, drummers from the Bahá’í faith, Freetown Collective, and the combined music ministry of Companions of the Transfigured Christ and the Living Water Community, joining together to sing ‘Let there be peace on earth’. –SD