Roxana V. Hadden, a native of Peru and a member of the Chapel Hill Bahai community, said the gathering symbolized her religion’s core values.
Bahai emphasizes the need to address human unity by eliminating all types of discrimination.
“We believe that peace is not only possible, but it is inevitable,” Hadden said.
“Every booth is here for the same reason: for peace.”
A group of visitors painted feathers and a grassy landscape on the community mural — a canvas sheet that hung between two trees outside the church.
Others erected a maypole and danced around it, wrapping the post with colored streamers suspended from the top.
“We needed to create a space where everyone could bring their talents together,” said volunteer coordinator Julie Cusatis.
A narrow trail guided visitors to a traditional American Indian tepee Bradley said was made for Kevin Costner’s film “Dances with Wolves.”
Bill DeLano, director of the Pittsboro consulting firm Triangle Training, started a group discussion inside the tepee titled “The Joy of Authentic Dialogue,” in which he stressed the necessity of meaningful community interaction.
“Peace is an active pursuit rather than a still state of being,” he said.
Liz Thompson, a Durham resident and church member for 21 years, said she agreed with DeLano.
“I have found in this community that when people express themselves, we are more peaceful and honest because of it,” she said.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, a horn sounded the start of a two-minute moment of silence — blessing the event and deeming it a sacred occasion.
Mark Malachi, the church’s spiritual leader, blew into the end of a conch shell to end the silence.
He said the event’s success underscored his belief that peace is learned through education, art music and creative expression.
The group plans to continue the event next spring.
Contact the City Editor at email@example.com.