Editor’s note: After a “Classics” presentation, we add a summary here. The original announcement post remains below.
On November 26, Mary Beth Gamba introduced us to one of her “sheroes,” Peace Pilgrim, through readings and discussion of passages from the book Steps Toward Inner Peace. A pilgrimage is “a journey on foot and on faith,” and Peace Pilgrim covered 25,000 miles in her “second life” as a pilgrim, sharing a message of peace. Peace Pilgrim spent 28 years on this project, as well as 15 years preparing for it, seeking the “path” she was to follow. Later she reported that once you accept the new direction in which your life is led, “the struggle is over; nothing seems difficult.” Even health problems disappeared for her. It becomes a life in harmony with your own part in the overall pattern.
As inspiring as Peace Pilgrim’s ideas were, we found the discussion they stimulated among participants equally valuable. One person commented that “we are all on pilgrimages of various sorts,” and others agreed that life itself is or can become a pilgrimage. Knowing that Peace Pilgrim was called to this new life, someone said “to hear a calling, you have to be listening,” surely an important point as often “life gets in the way.”
The Episcopal Church can expect a few extra visitors, as two participants told us about the “conversations” on the walls there, where parishioners have been encouraged to report their meaningful conversations with others, practicing both listening and sharing in the interests of understanding and peace.
Read more about Peace Pilgrim below, and at Wikipedia.org.
Monday November 26, in the Classics in Religion series. This group is open to all and meets Mondays at 11 a.m. at the Penn Yan Public Library.
Peace Pilgrim walked more than 25,000 miles from 1953 to 1981 across the country spreading her message — “This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” Her pilgrimage covered the entire peace picture: peace among nations, groups, individuals, and the very important inner peace— because that is where peace begins. Carrying in her tunic pockets her only possessions, she vowed “I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.”
Presented by: Mary Beth Gamba
Mary Beth has been a peace activist for many years. She has done peace walks from Atlanta, Georgia, to the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, as well as to Selma, Alabama, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the bridge crossing. She also plays cello in the New Horizons full orchestra and string orchestra in Rochester, NY.