Written by Daniel Hazard
'Peace Bubble' coming to a setting near you
Singer-Songwriter Jerry Leggett, a UCC minister, believes there are at least six billion "bubbles" for peace on this planet, but they just need to be called forth and released into the atmosphere. That's where you - one of the earth's 6 billion human beings - come into the picture.
On Jan. 12, Leggett began a yearlong, nationwide peace mission that will take him to communities across the nation, including 50 UCC churches in observance of the denomination's 50th anniversary celebration.
Along the way, wherever he happens to be on any given day, he's stopping at noon and singing about peace. Leggett's rousing, live music will take place on an intimate sound stage - a converted, tear-shaped, vintage RV that has been newly christened as "The Peace Bubble."
Leggett started his cross-country musical trek for peace on Martin Luther King Sunday at the Church of the Beatitudes UCC in Phoenix, Ariz., but his mission will ultimately take him to UCC settings across the country, including stops in Biloxi, Miss.; Manhattan, N.Y.; and Wounded Knee, S.D. He will wind up his travels in December at Bellevue, Wash. The tour will travel a southern route during the winter months, before heading north.
"The tour will include stops at 50 congregations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Church of Christ," says the Rev. Loey Powell of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries, a sponsor of the national tour. "We are making plans for Jerry and The Peace Bubble to appear at congregations along the route and a variety of UCC venues including the General Synod in Hartford, Conn., in June."
In addition to stops at UCC churches, the tour will include regular noon-time sing-outs where people in communities across the country will be asked to envision a more-peaceful world and share that vision in videotaped interviews. Leggett says he wants to ask "children, grandparents, friends and neighbors to answer the simple question: 'What would a more peaceful world be like?'"
The tour is "a nonsectarian, nonpartisan effort to celebrate the ideals that make for peace in the heart and peace in the world," says Leggett. "What if we all paused for a moment of peace at noontime and pondered another world? What if the world we imagine is possible?" Leggett's musical menu will include classic peace standards by the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman, plus a mix of his own soul-stirring Leggett originals. Other musicians, poets, writers and peacemakers will join the tour as it meanders across the U.S. to public parks, schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, military bases and city halls, Leggett says.
"We hope the tour will give voice to those ordinary folks across our land whose dreams for a better world are not always heard or understood - or as it is said in the UCC, that 'another world is possible,'" says the Rev. Art Cribbs, one of the tour's co-organizers and pastor of Christian Fellowship Community Congregational UCC in San Diego, Calif.
To inquire about a booking at your church, see a tour itinerary, or listen to free audio samples of Leggett's music, visit peacebubble.org.