About Us

This non-denominational organization was founded by Father John Nelson, of the Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ-on-the-Mount, in Woodstock, New York, United States. The church, in the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1891. We promote constructive dialogue and non-violent action around the world in the profound hope that we may achieve world-wide peace in our time, and for future generations.

The Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ on the Mount
The Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ on the Mount

We are for Peace; we are against no one. We are not protesting against anyone or any thing. We invite people from all walks of life, be they liberal, conservative, rich, poor, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, atheist or agnostic, etc., to join with us. We believe in ending suffering, hunger, disease, strife; in promoting education, health care, and general well-being for all people. The simple act of people joining together in a walk for peace will make a powerful statement to the world. Join with us in our quest for peace.

What we believe:
We believe that peace can only realized through peace. Accusations, desire for retribution, etc., no matter how justified we and others may perceive them to be, can only cause further strife and animosity. We do not seek to depose any rulers, governments, or political parties; we seek only to open all hearts and minds to the peace and love which dwells within.

We wish peace to come even to terrorists, dictators, warlords, and pirates, and to all who wage war or thirst for revenge, for we understand that the desire for peace resides in their hearts, too; they are simply and tragically mistaken—they believe that the imposition of their methods will bring peace.

If history teaches us anything, it teaches us that imposing one group’s will upon another can never bring peace; it never has.*

By working together to end hunger and disease, to further economic development and education, by acting as responsible stewards of our natural resources, and by nurturing love and spirituality, we can bring peace to the world.

Let us then wage peace.

Father Nelson

Father Nelson

Mission Statement

“In our ever-changing world of incredible natural wonders and seemingly timeless beauty, we all have been given a chance to share in the splendor of vast physical and spiritual realms. We are all here as caregivers to this place we call home, and it remains our joy to continue in the spirit of cooperation with all living things. And in this spirit, we invite every person to participate in a planet-wide initiative, promoting a renewable, sustainable consciousness of peace. Let us all walk in peace, as one unified force for a more tranquil planet.”

—Father John Nelson, International Council for World Peace

(click here for Father John’s interview in the documentary “American Heart”)

What it is:
A two-day gathering and celebration to advance the causes of peace and love; August 8 and 9, 2009, in Woodstock, NY, in homage to the fortieth anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival. On these two days, we are asking communities around the world to join with us in making the statement that we, all the people of the world, can no longer tolerate war or the ravages of war; that we can no longer bear the physical and economic injustices which are both the causes and the results of war, from the Middle-East to Sri Lanka to Darfur to Sudan, Somalia, the Amazon, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—every place where man causes harm to other men, women, and children.

We are committed to the same principles of non-violent protest embraced by Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, and we likewise embrace the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

WalkForPeace_WebWe are seeking participation from other like-minded people in communities throughout the world. We invite all of you to join us in Woodstock; if you are unable to, we are asking that you organize a walk for peace, on one or both of these days, in your town or city; it can be as simple as a one-mile walk with as few as ten people, or as complex as a thousands-strong walk with concerts, speeches, and other entertainments.

We will regularly post here the names and contact information of participating towns, cities, and organizers in order to help facilitate your efforts, and we will be issuing press releases regularly to numerous media outlets to obtain media exposure. We invite you to post links and comments on this site.

We stress that our mission doesn’t end here; it is an ongoing effort; we will organize and help facilitate more walks for peace, and other efforts to promote world peace in the future, and we invite your continuing participation. (See About Us and Peace FAQs)

What it isn’t:
This is not a place for partisanship, nor is this site intended as a forum to air grievances or point fingers; there are myriad sites already dedicated to that sort of thing. We are asking all commenters and participants to engage in the spirit of friendship, and to make positive contributions towards realizing our goals of universal peace and brotherhood.

It is also not a recreation of the original Woodstock festival; while we plan to have music and entertainment, our purpose is not to gather a half-million people in any one place, which would overwhelm local infrastructures; our only purpose is to promote peace. We ask all of you to obtain permits as may be locally required, and to cooperate fully with law enforcement.

* Note: Nearly all of the peace and anti-war websites to which we have linked promote this basic philosophy, though because it is so difficult to find completely neutral middle-east peace organizations, we’ve included group links under both “Islamic Peace Organizations” and “Middle East Peace Organizations”; some of the sites listed under those links are unfortunately strongly partisan, so we urge you to act judiciously.

Contact us at: woodstockwalkforpeace@gmail.com

9 Responses to About Us

  1. B. says:

    Peace, happiness, freedom and liberty for all, the walk is love.

  2. Amir Malik says:

    Thank You For Leading Me To This

    -Amir

  3. rob says:

    Thank you Brother John and all of you who are helping to make this wonderful event possible. although i have just found out about it i will do my best to spread the word across the net

  4. carol johnson says:

    You have done a wonderful thing by allowing people to
    participate in expressions of peace and love

    thank you

  5. patti ahern says:

    please may i attend your church?

  6. Jack..!!..Call me bro…..miss you big time……

    Hugs, Love, Light, Artes, & Music = PEACE

    912-271-4334

  7. Lena Sage says:

    Thank You, dear ,for ALL!!!!

  8. Zoe says:

    (practicable) instant ubiquitous TRUE democracy
    Ranked Ballot (voters ranking candidates in order of preference) plus “Organized Communications” will put an end to war & all other forms of violence, past & present. Because it always elects the candidate most exactly in the middle of all voting, “RB” is top-dead-center counter extremist, & thus more anti-terrorist than all the many recent retrenchments combined. Because it gives an equal chance of winning to not just all parties, but all combinations of programs, RB is the only thing that’s truly just & free. (RB is the sole unchangeable plank & bylaw of the Preferential Ballot Party, the only practicable third party.) We imagine running on the single issue of RB, promising a citizens’ advisory board based on Organized Communications (“OC”, small randomly assigned discussion groups electing reps to higher & higher random levels, by means of RB, until one small group, exactly in the middle of all voting, remains at the top) to guide us in the rest That’s the instant part. You do the same, from the most local on up.
    By the power of its example alone, RB will give us practicable instant worldwide true democracy. Virtually no democracy has ever been attacked by another. In a world of only democracies, there would no longer be need of the counter-productive wastefulness of armies, war or the preparation for war. RB will bring us that & all else: a real solution to terror, a perfect marriage of Freedom & Justice, Tradition & Modernity, Palestinian & Jew, Free Market & Communalism, all the fairness, payback & make-up one could wish for, clean to the Cro-Magnons, ecologically sustainable politics, what’s best for all workers, instant global women’s liberation, world-wide luxury, a rationalization of the drug wars, human unity, the Freedom of Justice & the Justice of Freedom, perhaps the only possible solution to the world’s only real problem, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (once they both are made to have to adopt RB), even integrity. RB is to the horse & buggy two-party system as shopping in the Mall of America is to shopping in Soviet Russia. The majority of the problems we face are due to the heavy-footedness of the two party system. RB lessens the power of the extremes, whether authoritarian, economic or sectarian, except through what they can gain by persuasion, which is only what’s just. While it would be equally useful for all else, RB’s real power is perhaps most clearly shown in the case of potential civil war in Iraq. Unless its Parliament comes to select the Prime Minister by means of RB, it may not hold & the country, region & world will be in danger of going to war over some ancient grudge, oil well, multi-ethnic city, or sabotaged pipeline. While the new constitution does call for the selection of the President by a 2/3 vote in the first round (even if only by the parliament & not the people) (who may then decide who will form the new government) & then by a run-off between the top two vote getters in the second round, if that fails to move all three tribes to nominate centrists, then the resulting handful of old men in a back room will fall far short of RB’s ultimate retail politics. RB would be equally useful for all electoral systems (parliamentary or presidential, the parliaments chosing their PMs by RB from among the members, lest they produce another Hitler or other extreme) coops, collective leaderships, tribal groupings, religious confessions, political parties, associations or, even cabals. Whoever gets there first wins. For leaders to best represent their country, or district, whether chosen at large or by a representative body, they must be the perfect compromise, most exactly in the middle, as is given by RB. Yet because it gives minorities a real say in which member of the plurality/majority gets chosen, RB is the only thing that will lead Iraqis, or anyone else, to support any plan more than inadequate confederation. It will result in “phantasmagoric subtlefaction”, real-time alternatives to all proposals, from wherever: market, coop or social, tribal, theological or universal, answering infinitely more questions at a time than the two party system’s “who is least bad”. Both more Liberty & Justice can be found in RB than in any ideology. With brakes & reverse comes no more need to suppress popular movements around the world. RB will give us subtlety, responsivity, light-footedness, long-sightedness, objectivity, economy, unity, accountability, integrity & victory over extremism. Palestinians & Jews will give up fighting over a sliver of desert & become members of global cooperatives, all the various forms of hegemonism, whether up front, subterranean or unconscious, will be given up, in exchange for leading the world to the light, & America will finally realize the need for an adequate, howsoever minimal, safety net as the price & foundation of a free market.
    Help put this idea, in time, to as many as possible, before “Clockwork Orange” (overpopulation), “1984” (high-tech dictatorship), cosmic collision, tectonic, economic or environmental collapse, or literalist contretemps. The cost of a full page national ad (sufficient to put RB to virtually all the world) would be repaid in no time, once all that money gets put to actual productive use, at pre-9/11 US annual defense spending of $10,000 per family. Ten to the power of ten (ten levels of groups of ten) would be sufficient to organize & unite all mankind.
    RB is very freeing. Because it always chooses the candidate in the middle, all those who support it are perfectly top-dead-center, with no more need to fear. Politics will become a family discussion around the kitchen table, with no more jumping back & forth between extremes, or absence of the economists’ requirement of predictability for growth. All that’s needed is to let go of the nut & get your fist back out of the knothole, to free yourself, & to rest in the knowledge that RB will give us perfect Freedom & perfect Justice, at one & the same time, even if not necessarily in the form imagined, as if anyone would then care. Good enough for New Zealand, Australia, Kerala India, Iraq, London, Ireland, Cambridge Mass, Burlington & 95% of the townships of Vermont, Pierce County Washington, St Paul & Minneapolis Minnesota, the Utah Republican Party for the selection of statewide candidates, numerous student bodies, the platforms of both the Green & Libertarian Parties & 50 college student bodies across the US with more places coming every year, but not good enough for the rest of us? It must be in somebody’s interest! How can we wish it of others if we do not have it ourselves? Having spent every spare moment from the invasion, to the vote on the constitution emailing every Iraqi I could find about RB, I would like to claim some little credit for the reforms they did adopt. No woman ever got pregnant to have an abortion. The only imaginable definition of Freedom (& Morality) is “Do as you wish, but harm no other”. The maker & sustainer of this world (& cosmos) could have no need of one bit of it. The fiercer the history of the planet, the sooner it would have been blissed out behind ethnic homogeneity, & thus democracy. Tax consumption, not investment, & spread the productivity around. All powers to their lowest appropriate level. All human evil is due to the out of phase fluctuation of population & food supply, so noone alive is responsible for the mess we find ourselves in, except what they do now. Justice is the redress of past violence, Freedom the current absence of violence & nonviolence the only basis of all Morality. Just go out & collect signatures, asking those who sign to collect them for you as well. The more the merrier. (The “additive” form of RB is to count the first choices & if noone has 50%, to add in the next choices, & so on until someone finally does.)
    ”Zoe” Z, Founder, Preferential Ballot Party, realzoe@hotmail.com, preferentialballotparty.org, POB 355, Albany, NY 12201-0355, USA

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