By Tracy Simmons
Prayers for peace, goodwill and joy aren’t uncommon during the Christmas season.
Members of Unity Church of Truth, however, want the community to know that Christians aren’t the only ones praying for peace this time of year. On Sunday the church, 2900 S. Bernard, will unveil “Joy to the World,” an art display that features peace poems from 12 of the world’s religions.
Patti Godwin, who helps run the church’s Seva Center said that each scene will “offer unique meditative experience for the viewer.”
Various families and church groups, including the choir, kitchen crew, barristas and Outrageous Wild Women of Unity, were given a poem to create a niche for. The 12 odes are based on prose written by James Twyman, an international author known as “The Peace Troubadour.” The prayers represent the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Native African, Native American, Muslim, Bahai, Sikh and Christian religions, as well as a universal poem for Mother Teresa.
“People can walk through and experience the poem and get a sense of what these religions are,” Godwin said. “This is so that people can come and have a chance to see something a little different. The scene is joy to the world because there isn’t whole lot of difference between each of the religions; we all want peace on earth. And I think when we boil it down we have a lot more common ground than we realize.”
She added that during the exhibit multiple renditions of the song “Joy to the World” will be playing, so that the experience can be enhanced musically. She said she’s expecting the scenes to be powerful and encourages people to make more than one visit, taking in only a few poems at a time, “so that you don’t get overwhelmed and so that you can relish each one.”
“Joy to the World” viewings will be each Sunday until Christmas from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and during the Christmas Eve services on Dec. 24 at 6, 8 and 10 p.m.