Join InSight at World Peace & Justice Weekend

Justice for an Interconnected World.

Hear from an inter-generational panel of experts working on the frontlines of social change. Speakers include representatives from immigration and economic justice organization OCCORD, InSight Magazine, and Laguna Beach High School’s Walking for Water, which raises funds to build wells in Africa.

Press Release Below:

Neighborhood Church presents Peace & Justice Weekend June 9 & 10 with a broad array of talks, experiences, music

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., May 29, 2018 – As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, Neighborhood Church will present World Peace & Justice Weekend, a two-day series of events combining expert panel talks on a wide range of topics including parenting, technology, ecology, recovery, peaceful resistance, and healthy aging, mixed with music, dance, a children’s workshop, chanting, meditation, an all-night sound bath and a Sunday benefit concert featuring three bands. All events will be held at the Neighborhood Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach. Tickets can be purchased at

“This is a chance to step away from acrimony and debate, to cut through unpleasantness and noise, and to reconnect with your inner compassion and thoughtfulness,” said Rev. Rodrick Echols, pastor of Neighborhood Church. “We’ll take a collective deep breath and immerse ourselves in relaxation and kindness. Our stated theme is ‘renew hope, reconcile lives, and restore compassion.’ We’ll do that by encouraging participants to escape their habituated thinking, set aside worry, and enjoy themselves while learning new ideas. Our wide-ranging variety of intellectually and spiritually stimulating events offer participants the opportunity to discover something new about themselves.”

All-day Saturday passes are $20 for adults, $10 children 6-17, ages 5 & under free. The Sunday concert, which includes hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar,  is $20 for adults 21 & older, $10 ages 12-20, ages 5 and under free.

Proceeds from the weekend will support humanitarian aid, education, and social justice programs locally and worldwide: Friendship Shelter, Laguna Food Pantry, Walking for Water, fire and disaster victims, LA Kids program, school supplies and tuition for children in Malawi and Nicaragua, refugees from Tibet and Syria, and Venezuelan citizens.


Details and tickets at

Saturday, June 9

All-day pass (to 4 pm): $20 adults, $10 children 6-17, ages 5 & under free

10 am Welcome program, Panel: Faces of Active Wisdom

Stories of strength in adversity, from addiction to homeland displacement to the struggles of LGBT individuals. Panel includes  Pejman “Pej” Alaghamandan of Beginnings Treatment, Laura Kanter of LGBT Center OC, Jackie Menter of the Jewish Collaborative OC/Multi-faith Alliance

11 am  Spiritual practice and meditation

Panel: Transcendent Themes in the Wisdom Traditions

Diverse panel of religious people dedicated to responding to the world with integrity. Moderator: Dr. Michelle McCormick, family therapist, executive consultant

Dialogue on Proactive Aging

Blue Zones and how people worldwide achieve exceptional longevity. Speaker: John Fay, Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc. gerontologist

Noon   Tibetan lunch by Chef Lhakpa Tsering, sitar music by Devon Haas ($15)

Children’s program

Prayer flag craft workshop and discussion of compassion

1 pm    Panel: Justice for an Interconnected World

Experts working on the frontlines for social change. Moderator: Sue Cross of UCI Writing Center; panelists Aditi Mayer, UC Irvine student and editor-in-chief of UCI’s new socially conscious InSight Magazine, Shakeel Syed of immigration and economic justice organization OCCORD, Laguna Beach High School student member of Walking for Water, which builds wells in developing nations

Spiritual practice and meditation

2 pm    Dances of Universal Peace Song, movement, chanting

Panel: Non-violence and your role in it

Amplify your voice, resist with intelligence. Miguel Hernandez of immigration and economic justice organization OCCORD will lead discussion on connecting with values to transform communities, raise our common dignity and resilience

Parenting Techniques: A Door to Compassion

Parenting expert Dr. Terry LePage discusses cooperation, self-discipline, joys of well-functioning families

3 pm    Dances of Universal Peace

Healthy Tech: strategies and ideas for parents

Using tech and media to your family’s advantage. Discussion led by Karen Lagrew, Instructional Technology Specialist at Orange Unified School District

Healing the Disconnect: Caring for the earth

Sustainability practices discussion led by Barbara English, co-founder of OC Climate Action

4 pm   Afternoon closing program

6-7:30 pm Labyrinth meditative walking (donation)

7-9 pm  Kirtan Musical Celebration Devotional singing, chants in Sanskrit to calm the mind

10 pm Saturday – 6 am Sunday

All-Night Sound Bath Gathering

Rare extended experience of the healing sounds of crystal bowls, gongs, sacred instruments. Musicians, yoga teachers, hypnotherapists, Healing Touch, aromatherapy available ($77)

Sunday, June 10

10 -11 am

Interfaith Sunday devotional service with sitar music, cultural sharing

2–4:30 pm

Celebration of Love Showcase Concert

Tickets $20 adults 21 & older, $10 ages 12-20, ages 5 and under free

Upbeat benefit concert with three popular Southern California musical acts: Sparky & The Ancient Mariner, The Moon Police, and Emma’s Revolution. Family-friendly music supporting the weekend’s selected causes. Ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, no-host bar with beer and wine

Sparky & The Ancient Mariner – folksy duo whose style demonstrates influences of country, indie, pop, blues and bluegrass

The Moon Police – Popular local five-member band that combines songwriting by singers Sasha Evans and Grace Freeman, with multi-instrumentalist Brent Samson, violinist Douglas Miller, and Shane Anderson on bass to create organic, eccentric songs with quirky vocal harmonies

Emma’s Revolution – nationally renowned, award-winning activist duo Pat Humphries and Sandy O, whose songs have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger, and covered by Holly Near. Eclectic harmonies delivered with energy, called “fervent and heartfelt” by the New York Times

About Neighborhood Church

Neighborhood Church is part of the United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination. Its open and affirming congregation celebrates the uniqueness of each individual. At 10 a.m. each Sunday, it presents an eclectic service of worship and music designed to appeal to people from all walks of life. In addition to its commitment to the Christian faith, Neighborhood Church is open to learning and drawing from the richness of other faith traditions. The combination of its spiritual practices provides a complete worship experience not commonly found in most churches. Neighborhood Church provides a sanctuary for individual and communal spiritual growth, guided by the teachings of Jesus, with openness to all spiritual paths and all people who seek to know God. Neighborhood Church is celebrating its 75th year in Laguna Beach. It is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive at Glenneyre in Laguna Beach, California. Phone: 949.494.8061 


Media contact:
Barbara McMurray
McMurray Marketing Communications
[email protected]