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Holy Name Parish’s Peace March Draws Crowds

NEW YORK, N.Y. — More than 200 area residents participated in the fifth annual March for Peace sponsored by Holy Name of Jesus Parish on Martin Luther King Day in the church’s Upper West Side neighborhood.

Michael Tyson invited participants to join the march outside the church of which he is associate pastor.

“I would like to invite all of you to march with us for peace in our country and Iraq,” Mike said.

Participants chanted, sang and prayed for peace in this conflicted world.

“Bring our troops back home safely,” was one of the phrases repeated during the march. At other times using a bullhorn. Mike asked the people “What is it that we don’t have enough of it?” and the people responded “Peace!” during the march.  Mike lead the participants in singing “Lord, make me a channel of your peace”

The signs carried by walkers showed numerous messages including End to the War, Think of Peace, End the War Against Abortion, Be Aware of the Facts, Help Save Darfur!  The march route began at 96th Street and Amsterdam, outside Holy Name Church, and continued to West End Avenue, making a left turn on 86th Street.

The first stop of the walkers was St. Paul and St. Andrew Methodist Church where Rev. Leslie Merlin, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, welcomed the participants, leading them into a prayer and a reflection for peace.

“Today is a great day for peace. Here with us is the dove of Peace in our midst. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,”  said Rev. Merlin. The marchers then proceeded to the United Church of Christ on 93rd St. and Broadway for another reflection. “Thank God for prophets, thank God for giving us Martin Luther King. And thank you all for walking the streets of New York to ask for peace,” said the Rev. James Campbell, pastor of that church.

The march for peace ended where it began, at Holy Name of Jesus Church, where leaders from various faiths read quotes from speeches made by Dr. King.