We sat in a large circle in the lounge, some sitting straight with legs crossed, others stretched out on the carpeted floor. One by one we passed the "talking piece" and we invited to say a few words about the experience of the last few weeks.
Tied to One Another
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I think the organizers of the evening from NARPI (Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute) staff hadn't anticipated the depth and breadth of the comments. It took three rounds before everyone felt that they had said enough, and well over an hour of sharing.
The comments were all glowing. Things like, "I'd never met people from so many different places before and now I can't think of Japan, Mongolia, or China, without thinking of you" or "My understanding of peace and peacebuilding has changed significantly. I know now what I can do to contribute to peace." or "I found a place of rest and renewal from my busy work. A chance to step back and re-evaluate while also appreciating all that I've experienced."
The circle created such a positive feeling. It felt like we were each tied to one another and no matter that we would never again all meet with the same group, we would remember the moment always.
For me, I called it the Spirit of God with us and in us. May God's Spirit energize us all to work for peace in whatever ways we can.