In order for the world to become peaceful, people must become more peaceful.…It always comes back to the things so many of us wish to avoid: working to improve ourselves. (Pilgrim, 1992, p.102)
These are the words of Peace Pilgrim, nèe Mildred Lisette Norman, who by the time of her death in 1981 had walked 25,000 miles over three decades—in the name of peace.
“Peace Pilgrim’s only possessions were the clothes on her back and the few items she carried in the pockets of her blue tunic…She had no organizational backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter. When she began her pilgrimage she had taken a vow to ‘remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.'”
Sunday, March 3rd is the 60th anniversary of Peace Pilgrim’s first cross-country walk that began January 1st, 1952 at the Rose Parade. A joint Interfaith Peace Walk involving 20 Pasadena area religious organizations will commemorate Pilgrim’s endeavor. Representatives will walk one mile from all different directions of the compass to Pasadena Memorial Park where the public is invited to greet the walkers and “share in an inspirational program of music…(while) short prayers for peace will be offered…demonstrating a shared commitment to work and live in peace for the common good.”
The walk has been organized by Reverend Dr. Donna Byrns, Senior Minister of The Church of Truth Center for Awakening Consciousness in Pasadena. Working with her is Rev. Tera Little of Throop Unitarian Universalist Church, Cantor Ruth Berman Harris of the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center, and many, many others (full list below), including the New Horizon School.
The event will be the culmination of a joint shoe drive to acquire new and used shoes.
All types of shoes are needed, from sturdy work and play shoes to dress shoes. Many of the people targeted for help are trying to return to work, or are already on the job and need suitable dress shoes. Children’s shoes are needed, too.
All participating organizations are accepting shoe donations, which will be sorted by the First Congregational Church of Pasadena, and then distributed to local charities and outreach programs such as Union Station, Haven House, and Rosemary Children Services.
Organizers also welcome monetary donations to help pay for park fees and other incidental expenses.
Interfaith Shoe Drive and Peace Walk
Sunday, March 3rd, 2 p.m.
Pasadena Memorial Park, 85 E. Holly St., Pasadena
Drop shoes off at participating organizations:
The Church of Truth Center for Awakening Consciousness, 626.795.6905
Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center (PJTC), 626.798.1161
Throop Unitarian Universalist Church, 626.795.8625
Ahiah Center for Spiritual Living, 626.795.4216
Orange Grove Quaker Meeting, 626.792.6223
First Congregational Church of Pasadena, 626.795.0696
Baha´i of Pasadena (no contact info found)
Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church, 818.249.6173
Temple of the Goddess, 626.765.7959
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 626.792.1343
Masjid Al Taqwa Islamic Center, 626.398.8392
First Summit Evangelical Free Church, 626.440.7079
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
New Horizon School, 626.795.5186
Editor’s Note: we recommend that you call the organization before dropping off shoes to confirm their acceptance of donated goods for this cause.