Ten Christians were arrested on Pentecost Monday for praying on the driveway of the Williams International cruise missile engine plant in Walled Lake, Michigan. Four of the 10 are still in jail on an open-ended sentence, and the judge has said he will not release them until they promise never to return to the plant.
The churches in the Wellman, Kalona, and West Chester areas of Iowa held a celebration of Pentecost at the Mid-Prairie High School. One thousand people attended. Theologian John Howard Yoder preached on the power of the Spirit to enable God's people to take steps that would be impossible without God's grace.
Church people in Kearney, Nebraska; Newton, Kansas; Denver, Colorado; Bangor, Washington; and many other cities and towns took their Pentecost prayers for peace to the tracks traveled by the Department of Energy's (DOE) "White Train," which carries assembled nuclear warheads from the Pantex production facility at Amarillo, Texas, to deployment sites on either coast. Although no nuclear train was moving on the day of the vigils, the trackside actions in many locations heightened public awareness of the passage of nuclear weapons through those communities and involved new people who will return to the tracks when the train rolls again.
These and hundreds of other events were part of the nationwide celebration of Peace Pentecost, a day of Christian worship and witness against the nuclear arms race. Christians in more than 200 cities in 42 states reported sponsoring peace activities as part of their celebration of Pentecost. Peace Pentecost events ran the spectrum from individual congregations holding peace services in their churches to whole denominations—the United Church of Christ, for example—proclaiming Pentecost as a day of peacemaking in their official liturgical calendars. Pentecost has become an important focal point of the faith-based movement for justice and peace.