The three keys to a successful Peace Light are flame maintenance, publicity and
The best way to hold the Peace Light flame is on a pilot light. If your council service center, church or home have an old style gas water heater, furnace, fire place or stove that would work great. It may not sound fancy, but it is a very reliable place to hold a flame. Blow out the pilot light, relight from a lantern carrying the Peace Light flame, and you have the Peace Light in secure storage. Natural gas is good enough for JFK’s perpetual flame, I don’t know why it isn’t good enough for the Peace Light. Being thrifty, we use the flame for two purposes. Now obviously that isn’t where you want to distribute the flame from, so a lantern or candle in an accessible location is best. Remember that exterior doors often are the source of wind gusts. If you are transporting the Peace Light a lantern fueled by smokeless paraffin oil works best. Candles tend to slosh their liquid wax over the wick and put themselves out. There are plans for a Peace Light carrier available here: Peace Light Lantern Carrier.pdf
Publicity makes your job easier. If people are coming to you, then you don’t have to contact them individually. Following is a short press release you may want to use for your Council web site, newsletter and the local media:
There is a Grotto under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem which is believed to be the site of Jesus’ birth. Oil lamps have been continuously lit there for over a thousand years. For the last 22 years a child from Austria is chosen to fetch the Peace Light from one of these lamps. The flame is used to light two blast proof miners lamps, originally designed to be used in coal mines. The lit lamps are carried aboard an Austrian Airlines jet to Vienna.
Scouts and other interested people gather in Vienna to light their lamps from the Peace Light flame the miners lamps carried from Bethlehem. They in turn pass the Peace Light flame from lamp to lamp, spreading it across Europe as far north as the northern edge of Norway, and as far east as Moscow.
Austrian Airlines has been bringing their miners lamps carrying the Peace Light flame to New York since 2004. Scouts meet the Peace Light at JFK airport, and light their lamps from the miners lamps. Spreading the Peace Light across the North American continent. The Peace Light will be coming to __________________________________ on ___________________. All are invited to come to _________ to receive the Peace Light. Please bring a lantern or candle with you if you want to take the Peace Light home. It will continue to be available __________________________________
The best way to carry the Peace Light flame is with a lantern fuelled with smokeless paraffin oil. Candles can work, but sometimes snuff themselves out when the motion of the vehicle causes the wax to splash on the wick. Care should be taken when transporting a flame inside a car. The lantern or candle should be in a bucket either with some sand in the bottom or some other way to add stability. A design for a lantern carrier can be found at www.peacelight.org on the FAQ page. It is also important to leave the windows down a little to get some fresh air into the vehicle.
Once you get the Peace Light home, please share it with your friends and neighbors, as well as send an email to email@example.com with your location. If you send us an email, we will update our tracking map, so everyone can see where the Peace Light has spread to. If you want to keep the Peace Light, we recommend blowing out the pilot light on an old style water heater, stove or fire place, then relighting it with the Peace Light flame. If you are not sure how to relight your pilot light, please consult a professional before you blow it out.
Feel free to edit as necessary.
Finally distribution is important. If you have good publicity and have a large group of people coming at the same time, a ceremony is appropriate. There are several examples on the FAQ page. If you are going to have the Peace Light available at a location over a period of time a full ceremony isn’t practical. It is still nice to have whomever is with the Light have the recipient say the Peace Light challenge: “We gladly receive this light as a sign of our willingness to be channels of peace, by our words and actions” I will give you a stack of cards with this on the back side.
What we do in Minnesota is have the Peace Light available at Bethlehem Lutheran church from noon to 3:00 on a Sunday afternoon. Depending on the publicity and weather we get from 50 to 100 people coming in to receive the Peace Light. We have a lantern on the altar with two Scouts helping. One opens the lantern, the other uses a taper to light the recipients candle or lantern. The Scouts give the recipient a card, and they all say the Peace Light challenge together.