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O Lord, we have again come together to spend a few hours of companionship with our fellow members.

In these days of unrest and violence in the world, we ask that you help us to maintain our inner peace and tranquility, a rightfulness of purpose, a tolerance of others so that we may ever remain people of goodwill and intent.

This innovation was written in 1983. At the time, a terrorist explosion killed 237 U.S. Marines in Beirut, a South Korean plane was shot down by the Soviets, killing 269 people, and the United States invaded Grenada. Counteracting these acts of violence, a leap for mankind (or rather womankind) occurred when astronaut Sally K. Ride became the first American woman to travel in space on the Challenger. At the time, Ronald Reagan was president, and George Bush was vice-president.

Little has changed.

Yesterday, an Egypt Air jetliner, carrying 66 passengers disappeared on approach to Cairo. Terrorism is suspected. It’s the third Egypt Air incident this year. Meanwhile in Iraq, an angry hornet nest of violence since it was unjustifiably invaded by George W. Bush in 2001, has been experiencing suicide and car bombings. Yesterday, 46 people died in an explosion, bringing the number of dead in the past few weeks to over 200.

The Soviets, led by the irrational hothead Vladimir Putin, has been engaging in empire-building with their incursion into Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldavia. Their precarious finance situation, precipitated by a fall in oil prices, however, has quelling their aggression, at least for now. Back in 1983, their saber-rattling led President Reagan to propose a Strategic Defense Initiative missile shield, which came be known as “Star Wars.”

In turbulent times, the only escape might be to seek inner harmony, rather than hope the world quiets down, becoming more peaceful and tolerant. There’s no pleading with people determined to cause chaos in the name of the causes.

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