Peace Road in Peace Gardens
A bright orange glow illuminated the sky as the sun began to lower beneath the horizon when a group of Unificationists from the Salt Lake City Family Church gathered under the trees at the International Peace Gardens to await the start of their Peace Road walk. The August 25 march would culminate a series of interfaith and peace conferences which were held to welcome the United Nations 68th Civil Society Conference participants.
Everyone from the conference was invited to participate in the peace walk, which represented 28 nations. Unificationists from the Salt Lake City Family Church carried the Peace Road banner as the group proceeded to march around the International Peace Gardens. At each religious monument, religious leaders would offer a prayer and speak briefly about the significance of their organizations. At the Korean Garden, Pastor Michael Stovall of the Salt Lake City Family Church spoke about the work of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his desire to create a Peace Road to bring communities together.
The evening also featured introductions to the work of the sponsoring organizations, representative prayers and discussions related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #11. Heidi Kuhn, Founder and CEO of Roots of Peace, spoke of her efforts to restore the land and improve the lives of farmers in war-torn nations around the world. Josie Stone, Chair of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, an interfaith nonprofit organization, talked about the Roundtable mission to “promote love, harmony, and understanding among all people.” Suzette Rasmussen from the World Trade Center Utah discussed working with Utah Governor Gary Herbert to improve trade relations. Representatives from different religions, including Islam, Judaism, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints, and Hinduism spoke about their communities and outreach work. The program also featured a beautiful and soothing musical performance by the children’s choir from the Heatheridge 6th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Orem, Utah.
Nearing the end of the program, Peace Road participants were surrounded by a peaceful calm and a feeling of unity.