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Six Billion Paths to Peace at Wayzata Community Church

Students gather at Wayzata Community Church, in Minnesota to learn about Six Billion Paths to Peace!

Nan Peterson, Director of Service Learning at the Blake School in Minnesota spent a day with more than 100 high school students and teachers to learn about service and peace.

Wayzata Community Church is a community of about 3,000 people and Nan has taught Sunday School there for many years. She always has spoken of the congregation as one that welcomes all and believes in serving others by serving God.

On March 14th, 100 high school students and teachers at Wayzata Community Church learned about Shinnyo-en Foundation and Six Billion Paths to Peace. The participants held thoughtful discussions about interconnectedness, peace within the self, with others and with groups, and the intersection of service and peace.

Nan said “It was interesting to hear the students speak in Christian language about Christ’s call to service; we talked about the interconnectness of religious traditions. They loved thinking of Shinnyo en friends who value service and peace. They talked about the connections traditions of wisdom share such as prayer, compassion/love, and service.”

All those in attendance enjoyed the day and one student at Wayzata High School decided to make Six Billion Paths to Peace her senior project presentation!

Another class had studied Buddhism and spoke about Buddha looking for the good in everyone. They thought that Six Billion Paths to Peace encouraged everyone to be a little closer to being the good person we want to be.

The day culminated with everyone writing their individual Paths to Peace and sharing their paths with each other. The path pages now decorate the church walls.

Here are a few of those paths:

My path to peace is

To care for my little siblings every day

To listen well in class to believe in myself

To find times of solitude

To be more polite and respectful

To show more compassion

To volunteer this summer

To reach out to the immigrant student in my class

To visit my grandpa more often

To expect the best of everyone

To listen to the joys and sufferings of others

To be more patient with others

To work at the food shelf

To volunteer at the soup kitchen once a month

After a discussion on the intersection of peace and service, students and teachers worked at five service opportunities in the conference room. They made 200 big sandwiches for a local homeless shelter; they wrote 50 letters to very sick children using the Make A Child Smile guidelines; they made bookmarks for 200 books they bought for a local underserved after school program; they made 100 placemats for a local soup kitchen where they serve food once a month; they made bracelets to send to children at Light of Hope orphanage in Kenya.

Nan said “It was exciting to bring Six Billion Paths to Peace to another community!”