Peace, an all-day event organized by six churches.
This is the first year of the event, which fell on Sept. 11 by
chance because it was the only day the venue was available to
organizers, said Rev. Jim Turrell, pastor of the Costa Mesa Center
for Spiritual Discovery.
But the coincidence made the event more special, he said.
"Teaching and spreading the word about peace in the memory of the
victims of Sept. 11 would be the greatest way to honor them," he
The event -- which hundreds were expected to attend -- focused on
children, Turrell said.
"Peace starts with our children, it starts at home," he said. "If
we can plant that seed in them when they are young, it bodes well for
Although the event is organized by what Turrell calls "new-thought
churches," it's not about religion, he said.
"We didn't want to make it about religion," he said. "It's more of
an event focusing on spiritual principles, like doing something
positive in your community.
"A lot of people give up on peace too easily thinking that it's
too big an issue for them. But it's not. People can make a difference
The event also featured guest speakers, including actor James
Cromwell, music, booths and activities for children from puppet shows
to face-painting. Parts of the event took place under a large white
Rothman said her children look at such an event as an opportunity
to sow the seeds of peace in their hearts, even though they don't
completely understand the larger implications.
Right next to where Rothman was sitting, several children were
painting and writing messages of peace on rocks. They take the rock
home with them to remind them about the message of peace, said
Elizabeth Lankster, who was running the rock-painting booth.
"It will hopefully make them aware that if they each take heart
and think about peace, it'll spread around," she said.
Peace begins at home, said Barbara Everett, a visitor from Lake
"How can we have world peace if we don't have peace in our homes,
communities and schools?" she said. "These churches getting together
instead of competing against one another in itself is an expression
Joseph Figueroa, 15, from Lake Forest, said the event was a way
for children and teens to learn about peace in a safe and fun
"This is a great [venue] because just being here is peaceful," he
said. "It reminds you to stay calm and not get stressed out. If
everyone is at peace, the world is at peace."
* DEEPA BHARATH is the enterprise and general assignment reporter.
She may be reached at (949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at