Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


January 5, 2012 - 11:27am
posted by James Renfrew in events, peace, Doug Call.
Event Date and Time: 
January 12, 2012 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Free Spaghetti Dinner: Pasta for Peace

The third “Pasta for Peace” free spaghetti dinner, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., in Batavia. Former Sheriff Doug Call will be the featured speaker.

Call was recently honored by Genesee County Democratic Party leaders for his long commitment to public service.

February 28, 2011 - 4:23pm
posted by James Renfrew in Announcements, peace, prayer, religious, Interfaith.
Event Date and Time: 
March 3, 2011 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

September 26, 2010 - 12:51pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Announcements, peace, YWCA.

Peaceful Genesee -- formerly the Coalition for Nonviolence (see April 29 article)  -- is sponsoring "Restoring Dignity: Skill Building for Transforming Conflict," an all-day event that is free and open to the public, on Monday, Sept. 27.

It runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the YWCA, at 301 North St. in Batavia.

The theme of the event is Restorative Justice, which focuses on the needs of victims, perpetrators and the community as a whole rather than simply on punitive measures. The program will offer people an overview of Restorative Justice, demonstrations in recent initiatives, videos, role plays, discussion of humane conflict resolution, and more.

Refreshments and coffee will be served, and participants will have an hour for lunch. Pre-registration is not required.

For more details, contact William Privett at [email protected].


December 23, 2009 - 9:26am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, writing, stewardship.


 Nantucket Sunrise
(Nantucket Sunrise)

Life is all about stewardship. It all belongs to God - he just loans it to us for a short period of time. The first command God gave to man was to take care of the Earth, which includes managing and protecting the environment.~Rick Warren

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's on your mind today?
JOE: I've been thinking about the newsletter I published this weekend about peace and how we can achieve it.
JOE: My focus was on how we approach each other. I neglected to say anything about how we approach the earth itself.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: It's like I'm suggesting people treat each other with respect and then go trash their homes.
CALLIOPE: You think it's that bad?
JOE: When we allow the earth to poison its inhabitants due to the way we treat it, I think it is that bad.
CALLIOPE: What can you do about it?
JOE: I think of John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the desert.
CALLIOPE: That's how you feel?
JOE: Sometimes I do. Many people are beginning to take environmental concerns seriously while others poo-poo them.
CALLIOPE: Getting upset won't help.
JOE: I realize that. I guess I can just keep doing my part. Talk with you tomorrow.


December 20, 2009 - 10:33am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, Christmas, quotes.


Sliding Otter News

December 19, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 24


    Peace on Earth and In Our Hearts



Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the
only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one. ~
John Lennon.


At Christmas time we hope and pray for peace. But is it only a dream? In pursuing inspiration for this topic, I found that others have preceded me and spoken more eloquently than I can. Let me share some of their words with you.

What Peace Is Not

        Indira Gandhi said, You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist. How can we reach out to others if we harden our hearts? Mother Theresa added, If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Instead of living as a world community we have divided into factions set against each other.

Jimi Hendrix seemed to quote William Gladstone, When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will have peace. Power once grasped is hard to release but power over others sets us against each other. Albert Einstein elaborated, Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. Not knowing and understanding our brothers and sisters leads us to fear them.

Francisco Petrarch wrote, Five enemies of peace inhabit us- avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perfect peace. It is easy to blame others for conflict. How often do we look for our own roadblocks? The Dalai Lama said, This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. Waiting to be shown the way to peace keeps us from starting on a peaceful path.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. Others can hear us talking about peace but won’t take us seriously until they see our peaceful acts. Henri Nouwen added, Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared. Once we try to grab peace for ourselves rather than share it with others, it shatters.

What Peace Is

         Dorothy Thompson moves us toward a positive understanding of peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict. We can’t expect to agree on everything but must find ways to connect with each other. Albert Camus agreed. Peace is the only battle worth waging. What if we spent as much energy and money enhancing each others’ lives as we do trying to destroy each other?

Elsewhere Mother Theresa said, All works of love are works of peace. Somehow we must find a way to move from fearing and hating each other to mutual love and respect. Joan Chittister shares a key to peace, Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together and the lack of awareness and sacred care is what is tearing it apart. She reminds us that peace involves a shared spiritual understanding of our world community.

Malcolm X said, You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has freedom. Our challenge is to find a way to make us all free. Pope John XXIII took this to an international level. The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone. The arms race made for a very nervous world. Opening our arms invites others to our embrace.

How We Can Find Peace

          John Kennedy said, But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. Finding peace is not the job of just a few statesmen but the quest of our world community. Cicero wrote, Laws are silent in times of war. We are born to unite with our fellow men and to join in community with the human race. We can’t beat peace into each other. We must join hands and search for it together.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness. Being alone and needy gives us a chance to meet each other’s needs. Francis De Sales said, Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if the whole world seems upset. Approaching each other with our own peace helps us to work together for world peace.

Thomas Paine wrote, He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. None of us is at peace unless we all are. Yehudi Menuhin challenges us, Peace may sound simple- one beautiful word- but it requires everything we have, every quality, every strength, every dream, every high ideal. Are we ready for the challenge?

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. ~ Matthew, V:9

Life Lab Lessons

  • How can you find peace within yourself?

  • What can you bring to the peace table?

  • What fears and hatreds keep you in turmoil?

  • Dare to risk opening yourself to those you don’t understand.

  • Work together to find a common path toward peace.


December 15, 2009 - 8:46am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, writing, quotes.

 Vineyard Sunrise

"Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called the children of God."~Matthew, V:9.

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: I've been quite busy. I woke up at 2:00 AM, my mind churning with ideas for this week's column.
CALLIOPE: As I recall you were writing about peace.
JOE: Correct. I usually start with a relevant quote and went in search of one.
CALLIOPE: What did you discover?
JOE: Hundreds of quotes about peace. I just couldn't decide which was best.
CALLIOPE: So what did you conclude?
JOE: To write a column consisting entirely of peace quotes and brief commentary. Even then I went over my space allotment and still did not include all the quotes I had chosen.
CALLIOPE: Anything surprising?
JOE: Yes. William Gladstone said, "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will the world know the blessings of peace." Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
CALLIOPE: How do you suppose both came up with almost the same quote?
JOE: Beats me. The only think I can imagine is that Hendrix read Gladstone or heard about him. After all he did become famous in England in the mid sixties and became friends with The Rolling Stones, The Who and Eric Clapton.
CALLIOPE: Quite interesting.
JOE: As Cicero said over two thousand years ago, "Laws are silent in times of war. We are born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race."



December 14, 2009 - 9:58am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, writing, turmoil.


 Monastery Garden

(Monastery Garden)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for another week?
JOE: I am. With plenty to do.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: I'm nearing the end of my latest review of Marital Property. Then I'll read it aloud and make copies for a few readers.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are making good progress. Anything else on your plate?
JOE: It's column/ newsletter time again.
CALLIOPE: Do you have a topic ready?
JOE: In a general sense. I would to write about peace.
CALLIOPE: A common topic this time of year.
JOE: Indeed. I don't want to offer platitudes.
CALLIOPE: What will you offer.
JOE: Perhaps some of my musings about how peace can be achieved. No matter how many people reach for it, terrorists and other ne'er-do-wells continue to prowl the earth.
CALLIOPE: Do you think you have the answer?
JOE: I wouldn't be that presumptuous. But perhaps I can help clarify the question. Talk with you tomorrow.


July 29, 2009 - 9:21am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, projects, completion.


Vandas in Barbados

(Vandas in Barbados)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Feeling at peace.
CALLIOPE: More so than usual?
JOE: Yes. I have accomplished all the immediate goals I set for myself and now am taking a deep breath before starting on the next one.
CALLIOPE: What goals did you accomplish?
JOE: Both of my websites have been revised and posted, our Conversations with Calliope ebook is ready for proofreading and my column on Inspiration and Institution is on its way to my public.
CALLIOPE: You've been busy.
JOE: I have. Several projects were near completion but still unfinished. Suddenly all of them came together in the past few days.
CALLIOPE: It must be a good feeling.
JOE: Yes. One of accomplishment and satisfaction.
CALLIOPE: What's next on the horizon?
JOE: I think I'll get back to work on Marital Property.
CALLIOPE: I haven't heard you talk about your novel lately.
JOE: It's been fermenting. I think it's time to open the cask and see whether it is aged enough to proceed. Talk with you tomorrow.



April 17, 2009 - 8:02am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, writing, serenity.


(Sunset on the Allegheny River)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Looking forward to the warmth and sunshine promised by today's forecast.
CALLIOPE: Nothing special on your mind today?
JOE: Nope. It's nice to feel at peace with nothing nagging at me.
CALLIOPE: Do you only write when something is bothering you?
JOE: Good question. I hadn't thought of it that way before.
CALLIOPE: Do you have an answer?
JOE: For the most part, I think I only write when I think something needs to be changed. Sometimes I write about things or people I appreciate.
CALLIOPE: Other that the weather, what else do you appreciate about today?
JOE: A sense of prosperity in troubled times, being at peace in my relationship, having the freedom to do whatever I want to today with no expectations placed on me and endless possibilities for how I spend my time.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're in a fortunate position.
JOE: I think so. I wish I could find a way to share it with others.
CALLIOPE: I think you just did.
JOE: I guess you're right. Talk with you tomorrow.
December 24, 2008 - 10:11am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, Christmas, Hanukkah.


(Back Yard in Leroy)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I just got back in the house with Carol from our fourth day in a row cross country skiing.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like fun.
JOE: It is, especially when we can do it in the local streets.
CALLIOPE: Anything particular on your agenda today?
JOE: Just preparing for Christmas. I created a few Christmas cards with Printmaker and also a few gift certificates for Navigating Life.
CALLIOPE: Is the book ready yet?
JOE: Not quite. I am waiting for the final proof which I expect to arrive any day. That's why I'm giving out gift certificates. I thought I would have the book in hand but not quite.
CALLIOPE: You sound remarkably patient.
JOE: I'm working on it. I think it goes hand in hand with maintaining a sense of peace which is my goal lately.
CALLIOPE: Do you feel at peace today?
JOE: I do and hope to stay that way. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and all readers who wander by.
December 17, 2008 - 7:25am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, Navigting Life, publication.


(West Chop Lighthouse- Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Trying to stay calm and focused.
CALLIOPE: What's making it difficult?
JOE: Continuing work on revisions for Navigating Life. We're getting closer to it being ready for publication with the exception of a few small details still in the process of being worked out.
CALLIOPE: Anything you can't handle?
JOE: No. But the closer I get to publication the more excited I get about the adventure and the harder it is to keep myself calm.
CALLIOPE: Understandable. How is the publicity coming?
JOE: I worked on a one page publicity blurb which I want to run by Carol before I share it with you.
CALLIOPE: When will that be ready?
JOE: Hopefully in the next day or so.
CALLIOPE: How about your column on Peace?
JOE: It is just about finished. I heard from a good number of readers what gives them a sense of peace. It turned out as well as I expected. Talk with you tomorrow.
Subscribe to




Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button