Peace Light .org

A web site dedicated to facilitating the distribution of the Peace Light from Bethlehem throughout the North American continent

2011 Testimonials

If you would like to share your experiences, send us an e-mail at . If you would also like to have your community appear on our tracking map, please include your zip code and  organization (if any).

Received the Peace Light from the Juniata Valley Council this morning.  Family, friends, and church will use it throughout the Christmas Season. Thanks so much for you efforts. Robert S. Wilson, Lewistown, PA
I received the Peace Light this afternoon at the Latvian Zion Lutheran Church in Chicago. It has been a good experience for me and my son. Tim (Chet) Blaszczak, Pack 3977 St. Paul Lutheran, Chicago, IL 60631
The Peace Light was used to light a field at the Antietam battlefield. Every Christmas, the fields are lit with luminaries to honor each of the 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who lost their lives on the hills of Antietam. Troop 20 of Boonsboro and Troop 252 of Hagerstown are responsible for one of the fields. I took the Peace Light to them and they lit their torches from it. Tade Sullivan
A great very moving ceremony at JFK. For me personally, my first time participating in this event was extremely moving and I plan to be back next year. With best regards for a very Merry and Holy Christmas. Oksana Stanko, one of the 3 Ukrainian Scouts in attendance.
Just wanted to let you know, Pack/Troop/Crew 184 from Rochester, NH received the Peace Light this evening and will be sharing through our community this holiday season. We are sponsored by the First United Methodist Church in Rochester, NH. Thank you, Jill Miltner
Peace Light – Today, we light our advent candle from the Peace Light, a flame that originates in the grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. It was brought to us from Second Unitarian Church here in Chicago. They received it from, which distributes the flame around the U.S. "The flame has traveled around half the world, from Bethlehem to Austria, distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe, and then to New York. The goal is help the light of peace spread like the branches of a huge tree across the world." Thanks for helping to spread the light of peace! Rev. Jean Siegfried Darling, The Peoples Church of Chicago
The light arrived in Pryor, OK on Dec. 9th at 10:30 am. It will remain at the First United Methodist Church, Pryor, OK. Thank you so much for bringing it to Oklahoma from NYC by way of Minnesota. Blessings, Jeanne Kelly
Tonight we received our flame from the Peace Light from Bethlehem at Dripping Springs United Methodist Church in Dripping Springs, TX. We received this light as a sign of our willingness to be channels of peace, by our words and actions. Paula & Wes Blank
We received the peace light on Saturday 12.10 from Danville, IN troop 303. Thank you! The Harris-DuMontelle family Pendleton, IN
We received the Light of Peace today in our worship service from Cub Scout Pack 50 in Ohio. Our church Shoregate United Methodist Church is located in Willowick, OH, USA. Thank you! Bill
It is beautiful to see the Scouts "share the light" in this way. Thanks for allowing this to be part of our Christmas celebration!! - Larry Heil
Hello Peacelight friends!!
I went to Vienna with other families from Heidelberg Pack 284 and Troop 1 to attend the ceremony and bring the flame back to our military communities and surrounding German villages.
I will be hosting a District Peacelight ceremony tonight in Heidelberg that is open to all scouts (Cub, Boy and Girl Scouts) in our district area of Germany and Switzerland. It is my hope that the flame will be spread all over the world. :O)
On Thursday, I will be taking the Peacelight to 2 orphanages in Hungary. I will let you know when I get back if I stop anywhere else along the way.
Thanks for putting this on Google maps. All the scouts in our area, as well as almost 200 orphans are thrilled to map this.
Yours In Scouting, Shauna Lynn Moffett
International Scouting Representative
Transatlantic Council, Boy Scouts of America, Rhinegold District, Germany
Our Council received the Peace Light at our Christmas on the Prairie Event at Brown Memorial Camp in Abilene, KS. We had about 35 Cub Scout families there to witness the ceremony. Thank you for spreading the message of peace.
Best regards and Merry Christmas!
Donald R. Sheppard,
Scout Executive, Coronado Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
Dear Friends,
I will be using the Peace Light in Brownsburg, IN, USA on Christmas Day 2011.
Thank you for bringing the light to Brownsburg Via Danville, IN.
Blessings, Todd Outcalt Pastor, Calvary United Methodist Church
Dear Joe (not the owner of a button factory),
We just returned from the Peacelight presentation at Oso Lake, California. It was a lovely ceremony. I especially enjoyed the various wishes for world peace. The leader also read wishes from scouts in other countries. Thank you for supporting this peacelight movement. Hopefully, one day the entire world will see the light of the world.
Yours in Scouting, Gretchen Minoofar, Troop 36, Irvine, CA
From Joe: If you are wondering about the button factory comment check this: song
Peace Light folks especially Joe Reding,
A huge thank you for bringing the Peace Light to David Ruiz in Rancho Santa Margarita, Orange County, CA. Sorry the weather wasn't better for your trip. I just returned from the inaugural Peace Light Ceremony at Oso Lake Boy Scout Camp here in RSM. It was wonderful. I feel very privileged to have been part of this new event for Scouting in SoCal.
The Powers That Be put on a lovely pre-game fireworks show with a surprise thunderstorm to brighten the night sky. At the appointed hour, the sky cleared and the stars twinkled down on us, lighting the way to the campfire. David ran a beautiful program. I particularly enjoyed the messages from the overseas Scouting organizations. I hope the OCC message will be as eloquent next year.
Thank you for everything you do to bring the message of peace to the international Scouting community and continuing the beliefs of Lord Baden-Powell to bring peace through Scouting to the world. Best wishes for a joyous holiday and a blessed and healthy 2012.
Wendy Shalders Rault, Pack 688
On Saturday, December 3, a delegation of Plast Ukrainian Scouts delivered the Bethlehem Peace Light to the Polish Girl Scout (harcerki) and Boy Scout (harcerze) Council leaders during a solemn ceremony at the Polish Scout House on Chicago's northwest side. Over 200 daisies (skrzaty), brownies and cub scouts (zuchy), as well as scoutmasters and parents were in attendance - the event took place during the annual Polish scout pre-Christmas bazaar and visit from St. Nicholas. The Peace Light will now visit over 30 Polish scout troops that meet around the city of Chicago and suburbs. Barbara Chalko Polish Scouting Organization of Illinois
Thank you for bringing the peace light to us.
Chad Nabity, Scoutmaster Troop 114, Grand Island, NE
To Whom it may concern,
I want to express my gratitude for this event. Last night I took my family to Oso Lake Boy Scout Camp in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. I didn't expect such an emotional surprise once the ceremony was over.
I came across a random email from he Scout Council and I decided to involve the family. The name of the coordinator over here escapes me (David Ruiz), but I just wanted to thank someone for this beautiful experience.
We were told that this was the first time the peace light came to Orange County. I hope it will return next year, as I will and quite a few others that I will bring.
Thank You, Mick Dwyer
Grantham Girl Scouts, Grantham NH
The light was delivered to us unexpected at a meeting at the Grantham United Methodist church which is NOT the place we usually meet. There happened to be three tea light candles sitting on a table so I accepted the light since it seemed "meant to be". Now, the challenge to keep it lit until Christmas eve!!!
Liz Borger
The Peacelight arrived in Sacramento at the Golden Empire Council on 12-13-11 and quickly made it’s way to the Court of Honor for several Troops, Packs and Venture Crews. For Troop 281 of Gold River it arrived the very day we were having our Court of Honor and became a focus of the event along with the rank advancements and Merit Badges. I expect the boys who got recognized that night will long remember it with the flame a part of the symbolism.
For me it has been a very moving experience to have a lantern (safely set in our fireplace) burning continuously in my home with the light and having the opportunity for sharing it with friends and neighbors. I am very grateful for the efforts of many to bring the Peacelight into California for the first time.
Kimberly Husted Gold River, CA
Hi Joe, Our distribution this afternoon in Bedford New Hampshire was wonderful! We had just over 100 individuals come through our doors between 1pm and 4pm! Most came with candles and lanterns to receive the Peace Light, but several came just to see it and to learn more about it.
Gretchen Osgood, Peace Light Coordinator for Daniel Webster Council
Thank you so much for bringing the Peace Light to Orange County, CA. David Ruiz, did a beautiful ceremony and we are so happy that we were a part of it. My husband and I are having a Open House before Christmas to share the Peace Light with family, friends and our Girl Scout Troop and community that were unable to attend this past week. We are already looking forward to next year. Thank you for all you are doing to help make the world a more Peaceful Place.
Lorraine Grob, Junior Leader & Cadette Advisor, Troop 1171, Anaheim Hills, CA
On 18 December 2011, the Peace Light was carried from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover, NH 03755 to the West Hartford, VT 05084. In West Hartford, it was presented to the town as it continues to recover from devastating damage suffered under Hurricane Irene. The Peace Light was presented at a "Service of Hope" at the W. Hartford Congregational Church on Route 14 at the village center. The building was filled to capacity. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem was sung just before the presentation of the Peace Light.
The story was told of the light being carried over from the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel. How, for the last 22 years, a child from Austria has fetched the flame from the grotto lamp and brought it back to Vienna, where it is then distributed at a Service of Dedication to Scouts from all across Europe. From Vienna, these Scouts take the Peace Light back to their own communities to deliver it, with a message of peace to churches, nursing homes, homeless shelters, prisons, and places of public, cultural, and political importance - to anybody who can appreciate the significance of this gift.
The story goes on to tell that since 2004, Austrian Airlines has flown the Peace Light from Vienna to New York City for Scouts to spread it across the North American continent. This year, for the first time, the Daniel Webster Council is bringing the Peace Light flame to New Hampshire and all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, and Scout Leaders are invited to receive the flame and pass it on to others in their communities.
The reader (resident of W. Hartford) then asked a little girl to light a candle taper from the Peace Light to share with those attending. Taper candles were used to share the Peace Light to each person attending while a nearby visiting choir from Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, in Wilder, VT 05088 led the people in singing Silent Night. Slide shows of the Aurora Borealis where shown as a back drop.
The Peace Light brought a special and powerful sense of warmth and resilience to a community that is still trying to rebuild homes, many without heat or electricity, in Vermont in December.
Peace and Thank You for Sharing Your Light
Cathleen Geiger Resident of W. Hartford, Vermont
I have shared the light to St. Theresa church in Henniker, NH 03242. They will use a candle from the light for their Christmas Masses. Diane Da Costa
Joe, How great it was to meet you on Dec 6. I trust you have concluded your travels by now and no doubt have many stories to tell.
The Des Moines Register ran an article on the Peace Light this past Sunday (see link on news page). It was even in Section A front page below the fold. Can’t ask for much more than that.
We have had great responses so far with the light going to private homes, churches, nursing homes and even an ordination. We have had at least two people come for the light who have been in the Grotto in Bethlehem and are really excited to have the light and the memories it has brought back for them. 
Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas season. Know that all your efforts to bring the Peace Light to Iowa have resulted in many pleased people.
Alan Strohmaier Peace Light Coordinator for Mid-Iowa Council
We will be lighting all of our Candle light worship candles from the Peace Light.
Blessings, Rev. Jay Grave, American Lutheran Church, Windom, Minnesota
I got the Peace Light from the Capital Area Council of Boy Scouts in Austin, TX.
I shared the light with my church, St. Thomas More Catholic Church. My priest placed the large votive candle with the Peace Light near the Tabernacle so people could come and take the flame from there. He also allowed me to make an announcement to that effect on our church's FB page. Several people have told me they have taken the Peace Light. Enedelia Obregon Austin, TX
We received the light Sunday at Sacred Heart Church in Spencer Iowa and have passed the light forward in town. Jeff Bohnenkamp, Spencer Iowa
We at Holy Family in Woodruff, WI, have received the Peace Light and plan to incorporate it into our Christmas crèche as well as use it in our Christmas day liturgy. Thanks to the Boy Scouts for all their hard work in making Christmas a little more special by bringing the Peace Light to northern Wisconsin.
Lee Ann Niebuhr, Director of Evangelization.
Troop and Pack 65 of the Boy Scouts of America have picked up the 2011 Peace Light at Frankfurt airport. We received it for the United States Army Garrison Wiesbaden and proudly delivered it to the the churches on base, both catholic and protestant. This Saturday however we will also deliver it to Calvery Chapel off post and again take it to the on post services. I do know for sure that German scouts received it the same day at the Mainz dom at the 1500 Peace Light ecumenical service.
Yours in Scouting, Troop 65 Wiesbaden, Germany
I heard of the Peace Light for the first time this year! I really wanted to take part. I am a missionary in Budapest Hungary and have been here for nineteen years. A fellow American mentioned this practice and that he would be in two of the orphanages he ministers in while the lady from Heidelberg carried the Peace Light to him in those locations.
Nearly one week later when it seemed all hope of our retrieving the light was dashed, our friend Russell Chun gave us the phone number of a man in Miskolc to whom he had passed on the light. We had our annual Christmas program in a small village yesterday December 22 where we combine village children and children from a local orphanage to bring them gifts and crafts and the Christmas Story.
My husband was able to go to Miskolc about an hour away from where we were with the children and bring back the light. We presented it to the Mayor of this tiny village where it is burning now in their tiny chapel on the hill. She was so thankful and said she had never received a finer Christmas present!!
That is the village of Monosbel in the Northeast of Hungary. We then travelled on to Budapest with our light still burning!
Thank you for the part we got to play in passing on the light of peace!
Sincerely, Patricia Varga, Budapest Hungary
After obtaining the Peace Light from the Mason Dixon Council in Hagerstown MD, I drove the Peace Light 4 hours across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to my hometown of Ellwood City Pennsylvania. It will be used in Churches across our town for the Christmas Eve services. Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church (established in 1799) was the first church to receive the Peace Light and helped to communicate the information and invitation to area churches. The Peace Light was also used in Hagerstown for the Labor of Love annual Christmas Memorial Candlelight service for families remembering the death of an infant due to miscarriage, stillborn and infant loss. Thank you for making this Light available . Evelyn Kloos Hagerstown Maryland
The 2011 Peace Light was transferred to our care by the Heart of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 10210 Holmes Rd. Kansas City, MO 64131. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this world-wide effort to let the light of the Christ shine in our hearts tonight, and everyday that Jesus is our Lord! Blessings to you in God's holy name, Rev. Tim Ault-Duell South Hutchinson United Methodist Church South Hutchinson, Kansas 67505
We received the Peace Light last night on Christmas Eve at the United Methodist Church in Farmington Iowa. What a beautiful way to usher in Christmas! A special moment at a special church service! Scott and Dawn
Bergenfield, NJ, Boy Scout Troop 180 and Cub Scout Pack 180 received the Peace Light from Troop 73 in neighboring Haworth, NJ, on December 12. It was carried back to 180's chartering organization, South Presbyterian Church of Bergenfield, in an oil lantern and transferred to four large glass-enclosed candles to be kept by the pastor. As a back-up the still-burning lantern was carried to the scoutmaster's home and the flame also transferred to candles. Eventually one large glass-enclosed candle was kept burning at the Church House and it was from this the flame was once-again transferred to the oil lantern on Sunday, December 18. It was then carried into the historic Sanctuary of South Church by Troop 180 and Pack 180 Scouts and presented to the Congregation. The Advent candles were then lit from the lantern. At the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service the lantern was once again used to carry the flame into the Sanctuary to light the Advent candles and this time the Christ Candle. From the Christ Candle other candles were lit during the service and the flame distributed to small candles hand-held by the congregation. In this manner South Presbyterian Church was entirely illuminated by candlelight from the single flame of the Peace Light. After the service the Scoutmaster of Troop 180 carried the still-burning oil lantern home from church and lit the traditional bayberry candle to burn into Christmas Day. As an aside it must be noted this candle was a standard-sized votive rated for fourteen-hours burning. This particular bayberry votive remained lit with the Peace Light flame for more than twenty-four hours to the amazement of the entire family. Read into it what you will.
We received a light from one that had been from the grotto of Jesus' birth place in Bethlehem. This light was shared in the Christmas Eve service at Amity Reformed Church, 335 Riverview Rd. Rexford, NY 12148 The pledge was taken by all in attendance at our Candlelight service. We do have a Boy Scout Troop we sponsor Troop #30 of the Twin Rivers Council but the invitation to participate came from a family member of a member of the church who lives in New Jersey. This e-mail is in response to the card given me by that individual. Sincerely, David DeVries pastor
Ann Caroll had the peace light burning in Eau Claire Wisconsin for seven days, during the blessed Christmas season. God Bless. Claudia Lecher
The Peace Light arrived at our home on Christmas Day 2011, from New Jersey, and it's story followed and was shared within our family. We are hoping to spread the light throughout the community of Lancaster County and the town of Weems, Virginia. Could you please ad us to the map. Charmaine Pope
On December 22, the flame was passed from Our Savior Lutheran, Hanover, NH, to Ascension Lutheran Church, South Burlington Vermont. Pastor Nancy Wright
Our greetings and blessings to all involved in the Peace Light 2011. Thank you to Joe for sharing the light with Southern California for the first time! The torrential rain, hail and high winds cleared just as the ceremony was to begin and the skies above Oso Lake Boy Scout Camp were clear and calm. What a beautiful ceremony that David Ruiz and family shared with us as they continued their support of the Peace Light. Cub Scout Pack 714 was pleased to offer the following wish: “We, the members of Pack 714 of Mission Viejo gladly receive this light as a sign of our willingness to be channels of peace, by our words and actions. We wish for peace, health and good will towards all.”
What an inspirational experience this was for all in attendance that night and for those receiving the light in the following weeks. Our Peace Light has continued to burn since receiving it. It has been shared with families (Long Beach, California) and friends (Mission Viejo, California and surrounding communities).
Thank you for your dedication to the Peace Light project. We are truly grateful for your efforts.
Sincerely, Cub Scout Pack 714 - Mission Viejo, California
It's the end of day 3 on the road to my new position in Nebraska. It's sort of an Advent pilgrimage, too ... I'm carrying a Peace Light ... a flame kindled in Bethlehem from the candles that burn in the grotto where Jesus was born, relayed via jet to JFK airport and via car to the Bedford (NH) Presbyterian Church. ...I hope that the Presbyterian congregations in Belden and Laurel, Nebraska, will use the flame to light candles at their Christmas Eve service. The flame burns in a lantern that is secured inside a ventilated metal container belted into the passenger seat of my car ... which protects the flame from blowing out (and me from setting the car afire). When the sun sets, I can see the glow through the holes that ventilate this special container. The sight warms my heart and renews my sense of mission, especially because the nights are so very long right now. To make sure that the flame makes it to Nebraska, I add oil to the lantern every evening. Advent is bursting with images of people waiting and watching and travelers and wedding attendants filing their lamps in order to be ready for a big event. This time around, I'm experiencing Advent in all its depth of meaning.
Rev. Dennis Hett
Thank you for the opportunity to share this special light with the community of faith I serve in North Central Wisconsin. I was given the light by another Pastor and shared the story with the congregation on Christmas Eve. It was well received and added to what was already a special night!
Peace and Blessings, Bev Davis, Pastor Ebenezer UCC, Stratford, WI
James Sorrenson, of Brooklyn New York, brought the Peace Light flame to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The Peace Light flame was explained to and then presented to the National Park Ranger staffing this 9/11 Memorial site. Jim is hopeful that annual presentations of the light by Scouts will continue at each of the 9/11 memorial sites; Ground Zero, Manhattan, The Pentagon, Washington D.C, and the Flight 93 Memorial in PA.
Paul D. Stanton, International Representative, Greater N.Y. Councils BSA