by Alan Delery
The last Peace Fest that I was involved with was the Algiers Peace Fest in 2017. With my guidance, the event was developed by a group of high school students to fulfill their service hour requirements. After the Peace Fest, many community members said that this should be an annual event. Perhaps they were right, but as it was the idea of that group of students and the next year the students chose animal care and safety as their focus, the peace fest was just one year.
This year, when talking to Councilman Green about the the 2017 event, he encouraged me to organize a Peace Fest as an activity prior to the Gentilly Fest, in Historic Pontchartrain Park, on Oct 8, 2022. Why did I agree to organize another Peace Fest? Because we need to promote and celebrate peace.
The Hebrew word translated as peace is shalom which means completeness, soundness, and welfare. It comes from the root word shalam (shaw-lame’), which means making amends or making whole or complete.
Shalam is often used in terms of making restitution. Take Exodus 22:4, for example; if a man stole an ox or a sheep from his neighbor, he was to restore or shalam what he had taken under the law.
Therefore, having peace means being in a state of wholeness or completeness, without any deficiency or lack. Shalom is frequently used in the Old Testament about the wellness of others.
When I look into our community in 2022, I am looking to see if our neighbors are at peace. Are they in a state of wholeness or completeness, without any deficiency or lack. Many are not. Therefore, we have to show care for ourselves, our families, our neighbors and others who are less fortunate. We have to support a justice system that holds the person responsible to restore what has been taken or repair the harm done.
We need another Peace Fest because we need peace.
Join us on Saturday, October 8, at Bethany United Methodist Church, to celebrate peace and join the We Care Team.