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The Peace Art Has Arrived!

Each year Pacem in Terris partners with schools and other community organizations, inviting students across the state of Delaware to prepare works of visual art showing what peace means to them. This year Pacem in Terris received submissions from more than 500 students, ages 5 to 18, from 30 organizations. Through a juried process, artwork was selected for inclusion in traveling exhibits which will be displayed in various settings over the next year. St Stephen’s received a collection of 14 pieces, from all three Delaware counties, which we will host through Advent and the Christmas Season. This is one of my favorite community partnerships, and I’m glad to welcome the Peace Art back to St. Stephen’s.

I hope you will make time to enjoy the artists’ impressive work as well as their statements. Each student was invited to explain their piece, thinking about the questions “What is your vision of a peaceful world?” and “What does peace mean to you?” Here is some of what they wrote:

Peace would mean people not ignoring their differences but appreciating them. Only when people treat each other with empathy and compassion will we thrive.

Peace brings people together. Be who you are!

[Peace is] harmony between…all living beings. Peace would look like everyone helping the Earth together.

Everyone is different and unique [but peace means making a way for] unity, inclusion, and kindness.

Unity and nature…represent a peaceful world to me, [as in] the sense of serenity and calmness [that comes from] watching the sun set.

Peace is when there is respect and kindness to everyone…It doesn’t matter who or what you are…just that you are you.

As people of faith, we understand peace as a gift from God, whether we are speaking of peace in our homes or peace among nations, whether we simply mean the absence of conflict or, more profoundly, the presence of justice. To realize that our children’s dreams and visions of peace are, perhaps, broader and more encompassing than would have occurred to us at the same ages, is to catch a glimpse of the hopeful future that is possible for all of us.

May God bless our city and our neighborhoods with abiding shalom, as envisioned by Delaware’s youngest artists.

Pastor Sue


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