Iowa United Methodists participate in Palm Sunday Procession for Peace

Iowa United Methodists participate in Palm Sunday Procession for Peace
Rev. Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz, left, stands in front of Jill the Donkey with his children. Jill and her friend Junior led the procession and were brought by Jeremy and Corissa Arndt.

April 07, 2023

An ecumenical group marched down the streets of Des Moines following two donkeys and waving palm branches for the Palm Sunday Procession for Peace, hosted by the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace.

About 60 people started at Des Moines Union Park United Methodist Church and finished with a worship service at Des Moines Central Community of Christ. 
The march has been hosted since 2002 when it began as a peaceful protest against invading Iraq.

"Because U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen has not yet ended, and because the war in Ukraine continues to rage, this is a time to lament the terrible losses of war and the national resources spent on warring and preparing for war," the Des Moines Committee for Peace said in a press release. "It is also a time to recognize the increased militarization of responses in situations of conflict in this country, and so we pray for peace, and re-commit ourselves to the cause of peace and justice-making at home and abroad."

Iowa United Methodist Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai was the keynote speaker at the event. 

"We as the children of God are called to bring about the kingdom of God," she said. "But to do that, in the midst of conflict, war and persecution we must do what Jesus did: we must bless others by preaching and living a message of love."

The Des Moines Committee for Peace has three events each year, the next being on the International Day of Peace in September.