Bethany to Host Community Peace Concert

Bethany Theological Seminary is partnering with Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Earlham College, and Earlham School of Religion  to offer an intimate evening of music and reflection on Sunday, Dec. 10.  The event is free and open to the public.

“Seeking Peace: A Time of Centering,” begins at 4:30 p.m. at Nicarry Chapel on the Bethany Theological Seminary campus located at 615 National Road W. in Richmond. The event is free, but seating is limited. Reservations can be made on Earlham College’s Eventbrite page. In case attendance exceeds the capacity of Nicarry, a live video feed will be available in the Bethany Gathering Area.

“The approaching holiday season is a joyous occasion for many, but it can also be a time of grief for people who are experiencing hardships or grappling with the weight of global events,” said Monica Koechlein, executive director of Richmond Symphony Orchestra. “We invite our community to join us to pause, reflect and pray for our world.”

A trio of musicians from the Richmond Symphony Orchestra will play the cello, harp and flute during the hourlong event. Readings and moments of stillness led by members of the RSO, Earlham and Bethany communities will complement the musical selections.

This event is part of Bethany’s ongoing commitment to community partnerships and engagement. The Seminary is a season sponsor of Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and regularly offers its space for community events. In addition to frequent collaborations with Earlham School of Religion, Bethany has hosted events in recent months for Richmond Civic Theatre, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, and other local groups.

“With all the turmoil and strife in the world, Bethany is fortunate to have the opportunity to open our doors and welcome the larger community to join us for an event focused on peace and hope,” said Jeff Carter, president of Bethany Theological Seminary.

“We are thankful to our friends at Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Earlham for joining us in sponsoring this important event,” he said. “It is so important to pause for moments of beauty and reflection during times of war and conflict. We hope this event will be a positive experience for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

 After the program, opportunities for fellowship and reflection — including refreshments and a candlelit labyrinth walk — will be offered indoors and in the courtyard adjoining the Bethany and ESR campuses.

“As we continue to grapple with violence and other forms of oppression in today’s world, we are reminded of our commitment to being a beacon of light and love for our community,” said Gretchen Castle, dean of the Earlham School of religion. “As we promote deep thinking and spiritual well-being, we welcome the community to be inspired by music and to join in this celebration of life.

“We hear that resilience is dependent on optimism, and so our hope lies in our ability to join together in community to grieve, to share, to consider the blessings of life.  Let us know we are not alone.  Please join us as we bring light to our corner of the world.”