The Global Peace Festival is a festival to celebrate the progress towards peace we've already made and the plans we have for the future. However, the biggest thing it is I think, is a call to arms, so to speak. We are calling out to the world that enough is enough, and that if we could all just put the barriers of our race, religion, and nationality behind us we could really have a wonderful place to live here on earth for everyone. Finally, it's also an awareness campaign, to make people aware of the root causes of war and poverty.
There are many reasons for war and poverty in the world. Disease, past colonial oppression, lack of freedom, lack of control, not enough water, not enough infrastructure, misunderstandings and/or stubbornness between people and nations. We at the Universal Peace Federation believe that the key to it all is the family.
The family is the place every one of us starts out life. If we don't learn respect and responsibility within our family, how can we be expected to respect others outside our family or take responsibility outside our family? If we don't have peace and a sense of oneness within our family, how can we be at peace with the world? How can we love our neighbor if we cannot love our brother? How can we care for the people of another nation if we do not care for the ones within out own?
This is why the theme of the Global Peace Festival is One Family Under God. First we have to make individual families which are full of love, respect and a sense responsibility and interdependence, and we believe the best way to do this is through the basic tenants that all different religions teach. From there, we can work towards making whole villages, cities, countries, and the whole world act as one family under God, where we all fallow the basic tenants of our various religions which all teach just about the same thing and we all teat one another as family. A big part of being able to do this is fostering a culture of service, where people learn to live for the sake of others by their own free will.
That's the gist of it anyway. Below is a video which talks about the GPF some more, and below that is the basic schedule which I will be fallowing next week. This schedule isn't for everyone attending the GPF, just those like myself who are also attending the American Youth Leadership Conference I have another, shorter video at the very bottom of this web page if you would prefer.
· Aug 5th Arrival – all participants will arrive in DC, at the Washington D.C. National Cathedral Church (1610 Columbia Rd) and we'll have a short orientation after dinner. I will personally be leaving the Vineyard on the 6 AM boat, to take the 6:55 AM bus to South Station, to take the 11:05 AM train to Washington D.C., finally arriving in D.C. at 6:50 PM
· Aug 6th Community-Wide "Peace Through Service" Day – we will join the service efforts of many partners in DC including some celebrities performing for GPF on this project from 10am – 5pm.
· Aug 7th Outreach – we will join the local efforts of youth on this day, to spread the word on the GPF event on the streets of DC.
· Aug 8th Sightseeing and Interfaith Prayer for Peace – we'll spend a day to discover DC. and God's hope for America, and close with a prayer on the grounds of the main event, at the Mall in front of the Capital building.
· Aug 9th American Leadership Conference and Global Peace Festival – join this conference in the morning and afternoon and be side by side national and world level Ambassadors for Peace as they forge their commitment to hold America to it's founding creed and build One Family Under God. Join us at the Youth Breakout to discuss long-term vision and strategy for the movement of Young Ambassadors for Peace. In the evening we will all attend the Global Peace Festival main event together. The event starts at 5pm at the Capital West Lawn (Independence Ave. and Constitution Ave, SW). Come early for seats and to check out the GPF Service and Cultural Expo from 2-5 on the National Mall (between 3rd and 4th St. NW). My parents and younger brother will arrive for the main GPF event on a bus rented by our church, and I'll be leaving with them at 9 PM on one of those buses back for Massachusetts.
· Aug 10th Youth Celebration – Join the hundreds of youth who have volunteered their time this summer for the Global Peace Festival as they celebrate this day and build up spirit and enthusiasm for many more events that uphold peace in the semester to come. I will have sadly had to miss this part, and instead will be arriving on the Vineyard with my family so I can get to work on time on Monday, the 11th.
If anyone out there feels inspired to help out, I think the best way is to tell everyone you know about it, and if you can, try to show up for the main GPF event on Saturday, the 9th in Washington D.C. Please go to www.gpfusa.org for more information. If you're not in the United States, or even if you are, you may be interested in going to www.globalpeacefestival.org or www.upf.org for more information about GPF events happening in other parts of the world, and other things the UPF is doing to promote world peace.
If you're feeling particularly inspired, or you know won't be able to attend any GPF or UPF events, another great way to help out other than telling all your friends and family is to donate funds to our cause.
Click here to donate to the GPF-USA.
Click here to donate to the Universal Peace Federation, which is the main sponsor of the Global Peace Festival as well as other peace-building initiatives.
To contact the organizers of the Global Peace Festival USA go to http://gpfusa.org/contact-us/
I hope you are inspired by what the GPF is doing and join us in truly making the world a better place by taking on the root causes of the worlds biggest problems.
Sincerely, in Libety and True Brotherly Love,
Christopher D. Osborn - Vineyard Haven, MA