On behalf of the Community Churches Interaction Council (CCIC) I want to share with you our interest in the Peace Pole. First, this is a replacement for the one that stood for several years along the river across from the swan pond. It was washed away in one of the recent floods. Second, to share with you who CCIC is. We are a group of pastors and lay representatives of fourteen Cannon Falls area churches. Angels Care Center, The Shepherd's Center, the Food Shelf, and Twin Rivers also partner with us. We support the Good Samaritan Fund which provides emergency assistance, as well as Habitat for Humanity and the Chemical Health Initiative. We support the Food shelf with promotion and supplies from our churches; member churches provide a free monthly meal the last Sunday of each month - the Community Table Meal - at the Guild Hall. We developed and support the community-wide packing event for Feed My Starving Children. We sponsor the Community Thanksgiving Worship Service and Meal.
Third, as Christians following the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, our actions to relieve suffering in our community affects the whole world. Therefore, making a public witness on behalf of the Prince of Peace to all residents of and visitors to Cannon Falls was unanimously supported at our April 2013 meeting.
The Peace Pole was purchased from the World Peace Society. It says in eight languages - "May Peace Prevail on Earth." There is no religious message or scripture verse, just "peace." People who read it will have their own framework to understand "peace" no matter what, if any, faith tradition they adhere to.
We have been working extensively with the City of Cannon Falls to find a place where folks could reflect on these words. Maybe mistakenly, CCIC interpreted the memorial as a fitting place for the Peace Pole knowing the tremendous sacrifice Americans made during times of war so that peace could prevail. It is unfortunate that the Peace Pole has generated controversy. It's a shame that most everything gives rise to controversy when many among us are working for "peace."