From Iowa Religious Media Services
The Peace Light of Bethlehem began its annual journey this year in late November when a child traveled from Austria to the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem to "fetch the Light" that has been burning there for over a thousand years. The flame was then transported to Vienna, Austria. From there the flame was shared throughout Europe by Boy and Girl Scouts who carried it to their home countries to share a message of peace during this Advent and Christmas seasons. To extend the sharing of the light to North America, the head of security for Austrian Airlines sat with the light in two crash proof lanterns as it was flown to JFK airport in New York, arriving on Friday, December 6. Following an ecumenical service at the airport Chapel in the Sky, youth and adult members of the Scouts BSA have been spreading "The Light" from town to town and person to person in a modern day "pony express" distribution throughout North America.
An Iowa representative of the program with his lantern met a courier of "The Light" who was on his way to Denver and beyond in Kansas City on the evening of December 10. After the lantern was lit, it was carried to Iowa where it will continue to burn, bringing the message of Peace during this holiday season to churches, private homes, hospitals and other places where Iowans gather in the name of peace and thanksgiving.
At this time of unrest and turmoil in our country and throughout the world, we lift up the words of the prayer of Saint Francis and ask, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy."
The Bethlehem Peace Light offers you a symbol to light the darkness and illuminate love, forgiveness, faith, hope and joy. The flame that has been continuously burning in the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem for over a thousand years burns bright in Iowa, and we invite you to share the Light in your church, in your home and in your heart during this Advent and Christmas season. The light is available at several locations:
MID IOWA COUNCIL BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
6123 Scout Trail, Des Moines, Iowa
Monday through Friday December 11 - December 23 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
IOWA RELIGIOUS MEDIA SERVICE
2400 86th Street, Suite 15, Urbandale, Iowa
Monday through Friday December 16 - December 23 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm and by appointment on the morning of December 24. If you need one, a limited number of long-burning devotional candles are available at IRMS for a donation.
The Peace Light will be available in the Waterloo area by contacting Jenny Ibendahl via email at email@example.com
As Iowa Religious Media Services prepares to close its doors for the final time on December 31, we especially invite you to share our joy and love for you by sharing this light with others this year. While this will be the last year that the light will be available at IRMS, it will continue to glow for Iowans in other locations for years to come.
Let this symbol of peace illuminate your sanctuary and homes this season and shine on all those you love.
If you have any questions about the Bethlehem Peace Light, an appropriate vessel or any other details, call the IRMS office at or 515/277-2920 or email Alan.firstname.lastname@example.org
. For more information about the Bethlehem Peace Light and to follow its journey go to www.peacelight.org