Bethlehem Press

Friday, January 17, 2020
Press photos by Bernie O'HARE 066: After three miles, the group heads for a rest at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lower Nazareth Township. Press photos by Bernie O'HARE 066: After three miles, the group heads for a rest at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lower Nazareth Township.
Sgt John Karr, one of Bethlehem's finest, provided traffic control. Sgt John Karr, one of Bethlehem's finest, provided traffic control.
040 : Lanna Melchiorre, Hillary Frigm and John Bergdoll join pilgrimage from Nazareth race track. 040 : Lanna Melchiorre, Hillary Frigm and John Bergdoll join pilgrimage from Nazareth race track.
Russell Fry, 8, walked the entire 10 miles. Russell Fry, 8, walked the entire 10 miles.
Dimitri Schwartz, at the vanguard, leads the 10-mile pilgrimage. Dimitri Schwartz, at the vanguard, leads the 10-mile pilgrimage.
091: After six miles, Colleen Gahman and Rhonda Mitchell are still smiling. 091: After six miles, Colleen Gahman and Rhonda Mitchell are still smiling.
 Nick Butterfield, Tom Stimmet and Grant Stevenson joined the group about two miles into the walk. Nick Butterfield, Tom Stimmet and Grant Stevenson joined the group about two miles into the walk.

A call to peace

Thursday, December 20, 2012 by BERNIE O'HARE Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

When Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, as told in the Gospel of Luke, they covered approximately 80 miles. On Dec. 8, in memory of that journey, approximately 150 people made the shorter, 10-mile, trip between Nazareth and Bethlehem here in the Lehigh Valley. Called the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage, it's the 53rd time this group has made the trip, walking with simple star and peace signs. It's an annual reminder of the true meaning of Christmas - peace on earth.

This year's trek, which started at the Moravian Church in the Nazareth Circle at noon, slowly made its way along Route 191 and into Bethlehem, stopping at three churches along the way. It ended, as darkness fell, with Christmas carols at the Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem.

Although most participants were from the Lehigh Valley, they included people from the coal regions, Maryland and Ohio.

Some have been making this an annual expedition since the '70s. As Grant Stevenson explains, "Somebody's gotta' be for peace."

A sign at First Baptist Church, a rest stop along the way, refers everyone to Christ's message: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."