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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Call to Peace, From Nazareth to Bethlehem

Dimitri Schwartz, at the vanguard, leads the 10-mile pilgrimage
When Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem two thousand years ago, as claimed in the Gospel of Luke, they covered approximately eighty miles. On December 8, in memory of that journey, approximately 150 people made the shorter, 10-mile, trip between Nazareth and Bethlehem here in the Lehigh Valley. Called the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage, it's the 53rd time this group has made the trip, walking with simple star and peace signs. It's an annual reminder of the true meaning of Christmas - peace on earth.

This year's trek, which started at the Moravian Church in the Nazareth Circle at noon, slowly made its way along Route 191 and into Bethlehem, stopping at three churches along the way. It ended, as darkness fell, with Christmas carols at the Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Although most participants were from the Lehigh Valley, they included people from the coal regions, Maryland and Ohio.

Some have been making this an annual expedition since the '70s. As Grant Stevenson explains, "Somebody's gotta' be for peace." A sign at First Baptist Church, a rest stop along the way, refers everyone to Christ's message: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Lanna Melchiorre, Hillary Frigm and John Bergdoll join pilgrimage from Nazareth race track

Nick Butterfield, Tom Stimmet and Grant Stevenson join hike about 2 miles into trip

Russell Fry, age 8, walked the entire 10 miles. 

After three miles, group rests at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lower Nazareth Township

It's a family affair for Bethlehem resident Rick Dow. His wife manned the sag wagon. His daughter forgot the camera.

After 6 miles, Colleen Gahman and Rhonda Mitchell are still smiling

Cindy Yost waves as she makes her way to First Baptist Chruch

Rita Skechus comes from the Scranton area to walk 10 miles for peace

In Bethlehem, pilgrims stop at First Church of the Nazarene for vigil candles

Sgt John Karr, one of Bethlehem's finest, provided traffic control

This is what it was all about - a call to peace

You can see more pictures here.


Aleister Crowley said...

Nice coverage of a noble event, this Quaker salutes you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you. A salute from a dead guy.

Anonymous said...

I hope none of them voted for Obama, with his brutal prosecution of Afghanistan and Pakistan and his drone assassinations list. I'll bet many of them did, though. Abortion trumps peace, every time. Obama's inoculated. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Turn a pleasant, uplifting event into a political indictment of Obama. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

all we are sayyying.... Is give peace a chance...

Anonymous said...

Jesus was one of the 47% and not worthy of Republican representation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Geez, I know this is a political blog, but this event transcends the bullshit you hacks are all programmed to say.

Anonymous said...

Last year, our dear neighbor Cathy was in a Bethlehem Press photo of this event, singing a carol, surrounded by others. Cathy passed away very recently, may her memory be eternal, and may her dream of peace be realized. Cate

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is the one part of this pilgrimage I missed. I left before they started singing to catch a bus back to Nazareth, after running and walking 10 miles down. Unfortunately, I missed the damn bus, too.

Anonymous said...

The Bethlehem policeman's name is Karb, not Karr.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If that is so, I apologize to him.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I hope you did not have to run all the way back to Nazareth after you missed the bus! If you are ever stranded, you can always send Paddy an email, and he will come get you and give you a ride home. He used to live in Nazareth, so he knows the way. cate

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks cate. Fortunately, I picked up a ride.