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Singing Peace, by Paula Dempsey
by Paula Dempsey, director of partnership relations
Shanti, pax, shalom, maslaha all mean “peace.” Shanti is from from Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and maslaha is a concept in Islamic law connoting the “common good.”
Shanti, pax, shalom, maslaha also make up the prayer that is the refrain of the hymn commissioned for the 30th Anniversary Gathering of the Alliance. The hymn, "Commonwealth Is God’s Commandment," sung to a 19th century William Walker tune from Southern Harmony, was penned by respected hymnist Mary Louise Bringle.
The text and melody capture the yearning, commitments and prayers of the people, congregational partners and ministry partners of the Alliance of Baptists—welcome, sharing, love, friendship, blessing, building bridges, common good, shalom.
Sing it! The hymn commissioned for the 30th anniversary is available for congregational partners of the Alliance to use in worship. Congregations beyond the Alliance will need to seek permission through OneLicense for copyright authorization.
Most of all, may we embody it as we: “Plead for the peace of all creation—and pray for the place where grace is found.”
Photo: Lesley-Ann Tommey.