7 AM, December 31st
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Intro to Dona Nobis Pacem, by Penny Winestock

Good morning, and thank you for joining us at this chilly early hour, to contribute your presence to manifesting peaceful energy in our world.

My name is Penny Winestock, and I'm here with Helen Bauer, Arturo Mundigo, and Lorne Gould to bring you, in a few minutes, a peace song, a chant created especially for this event, to help warm us up to the Peace Meditation.

Over the next hour and a bit many of us will be giving and receiving - in music and words, song and prayer, meditation and silence - our best affirmations of peace. We'll be hearing from people who have some similar and some different ideas about what it means to affirm peace - to create it, live it, expect it, accept it - modeled so impressively by the late Nelson Mandella, alleva shalom, may his soul be at peace.

So, what is this peace, thing? As I see it, peace is not just the warm-fuzzy, huggy-kissy, we-are-one, stuff - not that there's anything wrong with that - but it's also simply live and let live; creative neutrality; honouring and respecting boundaries; and sometimes doing the complex work of coming to authentic forgiveness.

I have a blessing for all of us here in this room, and everyone we know and love, and everyone known and loved by those we know and love - up to the 6th degree where-in everyone in the world is included. May we all find the courage to become conscious of where - in our hearts, our lives, our relationships - we need some 'peacework', and to grant ourselves large, full compassion in those places.

Now on to some music. Over the last 28 years of this World Healing Event, we've had peace songs of well-known artists like the John Lennons of the world, of local musicians with original tunes and lyrics, and samplings of holy chants from almost every spiritual tradition that has roots on this earth. The one we're doing this morning is a 'mash-up' of two pieces - a famous old folk-hymn called Amazing Grace, and one prayer from a Catholic mass, composed of 3 simple words - Dona Nobis Pachem - Grant us Peace.