Union College to hold annual Peace Week

Visit the Union College Facebook page to see photos from this year's Peace Week activities.

For college students like junior communication major Kelly Phipps, the stress of earning a degree can make it easy to lose focus on the important things in life—like relationships with friends, the community and the world. But April 17-24, Union College hopes to change all that with the second annual Peace Week.

“It’s seven intentional days that focus on personal interactions, communication and creating a space which promotes harmonious living,” said Phipps, who helped plan the activities for the week. “It’s a time that we can dedicate toward more actively understanding the needs outside of our own and reconnecting with what’s really important to the community of the world.

Activities each day—planned by Union College students from several clubs and classes on campus—will focus on the four pillars of peace outlined by the Seventh-day Adventist Church: dialogue, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation. “We’re following the call found in the official church statement ‘A Seventh-day Adventist Call for Peace,’” said Chris Blake, associate professor of English and communication. “It says that each of more than 6,000 Adventist schools, colleges, and universities should set aside one week each school year to make a specifically Adventist contribution to a culture of social harmony and peace.”

Peace Week Schedule

Sunday, April 17, kicks off these seven serene days. Tiny Hands, Big Hearts art and crafts sale will be in the atrium of the Don Love Building from 1:01 p.m. to 5:01 p.m. The sale will benefit Tiny Hands International, a Lincoln-based organization dedicated to rescuing Nepalese children who are being sold slavery.

Monday, April 18, introduces “Cross the Line,” a dialogue activity focusing on listening, understanding differences and commonalities and how language affects each of us. The activity starts at 7:47 p.m. in Woods Auditorium and offers double worship credit for Union College students.

Tuesday, April 19, Union’s Amnesty International chapter will facilitate an activity in Union Market designed to spread awarness about the many people in the world who are treated unjustly. Watch for it during lunch and supper times: 11:22 a.m. to 1:42 p.m. and 5:01 p.m. to 6:01 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20, is a day to set yourself, and others, free. “Flowers and Bubbles,” in Union Market during lunch, will encouraged people to hand out flowers and ask for forgiveness. Participants will also use vials of bubbles to represent forgiving someone they can no longer reach.

Thursday, April 21, will focus on reconciliation.  From 10:31 a.m. to 11:31 a.m. in the amphitheater, a variety of activities will highlight how students graduating or moving away from large, youth-filled churches can continue to be spiritually fed by establishing a safe place, building connections and managing conflicts.

Friday, April 22, will be filled with music and sharing. Bring a blanket and stretch out on the lawn in front of the gazebo near Jorgensen Hall to enjoy a concert from 1:11 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  This time will also include an open mic opportunity; all are encouraged to share a story, song, poem or anything else that brings peace.

Saturday, April 23, the first showing of the outdoor resurrection pageant will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Heartland Hall at the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church. Groups will leave every 30 minutes to travel the hour-and-a-half journey through the last days of Christ’s life at locations across Union’s campus. Booths from organizations like Tiny Hands International, Union College Campus Ministries and Amnesty International will showcase opportunities to get involved, not just inspired.

Sunday, April 24, a Sonrise Service—a real and unorchestrated time of prayer, sharing and music—will be held under the cross at the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church at 6:45 a.m.