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Church celebrates 'International Day of Peace' Sunday

LeTendre, of Saratoga Springs, was instrumental in getting people involved, drawing on her connections with several peace-based organizations. Though she's not officially a member of the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church of Saratoga Springs, she regularly attends services there and sings in the choir, and she embraces the church's philosophy that to serve God, it must be socially conscious and politically involved.

"[Peace] doesn't happen just wishing it," she said. "It's going to happen when we make it happen."

She got a strong nudge in that direction when her friend Beth was dying of leukemia. LeTendre told God that the world needed more people like Beth, not fewer of them. She said God told her that He agreed, but "I've given you the resources to heal Beth. It is how you choose, and keep choosing to use, those resources that makes a difference. You can take care of each other or you can kill and destroy each other; it's up to you."

Up to that point, LeTendre was "sort of in the background" of the peace movement. But that conversation with God, she said, moved her closer to the forefront, protesting and bearing witness for peace.

Still, she knows there is plenty more to be done. She envisions people leaving the fair and taking steps like recycling or writing to their congressmen in support of peace.

It's a vision Meehan shares and is excited about spreading.

"We don't want everyone to just be preaching to the choir," she said. "I believe most people would get involved if they knew they could. Little changes can make a big difference."

"Peace-ing It Together, The Peace and Justice Fair" is Sunday, Sept. 20, at the The Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church, 24 Circular St. in Saratoga Springs. Admission is free and food will be sold. For information, visit www.peace-ing.org.""

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