A WWI Speaking Announcement… and How Churches Can Commemorate the Armistice

It’s been a busy week elsewhere, so I’ve taken a brief break from Pietist Schoolman. But I’ll interrupt the hiatus long enough to share a couple of items related to the centennial of World War I:

Bells of Peace logo• First, in my capacity as a member of Minnesota’s WWI centennial commission… let me encourage all of you to explore how your church can join in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the war’s end — one month from today. At 11am local time on November 11th, there will be a simultaneous bell ringing around the country. Churches can pledge to participate in the Bells of Peace program here, and also find ideas for how to integrate the commemoration into worship that morning.

If your church doesn’t have a belfry, carillon, or even hand bells, you might think up an alternative way to mark the moment — I think it’s the spirit of connecting commemoration to peacemaking that matters more than the particular means.

• Then let me invite readers in the Twin Cities to a very cool event taking place Monday night, October 29th, in Minneapolis’ Westminster Hall: I’ll be part of a panel organized by MinnPost, the Minnesota Opera, and the University of Minnesota’s School of Music to discuss soldiers’ experiences of the war. Entitled “Silent Night: A Soldier’s Humanity and the Impact of WWI,” it previews the WWI-themed opera by that carol’s title, running November 10-18 at the Ordway Center. In addition to our panel discussion, one of the cast members will sing selections from the opera. Starting at 7pm, the event is free, but the organizers do ask you to register in advance.