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1999 NCC News Archives

"World Peace Globe" Unveiled At Church Center For The U.N.

December 7, 1999, NEW YORK CITY - A smaller version of a World Peace Globe to be installed in Manger Square in Bethlehem was unveiled during a Dec. 7 ceremony at the Church Center for the United Nations.

Sponsored by the United Methodist Office for the United Nations and the Office of the Coordinator of Bethlehem 2000, a project promoting both millennial celebrations and economic development in Bethlehem, the event was marked by calls for peace around the world.

Levi Bautista, a United Methodist Board of Church and Society executive, called the globe-lighting ceremony "an exercise in remembrance and anticipation" - remembrance of Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem, and his teachings and anticipation of "a just, compassionate and durable peace."

Created of Plexiglas by Rebecca Nova of Wilmington, N.C., the 16-inch globe is lighted from inside. Countries at peace are brightly lit; countries at war are dark, and countries with internal conflicts blink. A four-foot globe will be installed in the World Peace Center now under construction in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem 2000 is an initiative of the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations and other groups to support the Bethlehem 2000 Project of the Palestinian Authority. Events are scheduled from December 1999 through Easter 2001.

The Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, welcomed the Bethlehem 2000 initiative, and said, "We have before us a vision of hope, radical change and transformation to a new life." She pointed out that the "communities of witnesses" in Bethlehem and the Middle East are even more important than the holy places. She hopes the 2000 celebration "will be an occasion for renewal" for those people.

The globe lit Dec. 7 at the Church Center for the United Nations will remain in the Tillman Chapel there for the next 18 months. More information is available at the Web site: www.peace2k.org.

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