Bringing peace to all
- Published: November 8, 2018
Last weekend, the 15-year-old weekly Saturday morning peace vigil at the intersection of Limestone Street and Xenia Avenue was elevated by the voices of more than 80 singers intoning a simple round to the words, “Hate has no home here.” The singers, all of them women, were participants in the annual Midwest regional Threshold Choir gathering. Among them were Threshold Choir founder Kate Munger, from the Bay Area, and co-presenter Annie Garretson, from the Boulder Colo., chapters.
According to Joan Ackerman, a local Threshold singer, the notion came to Munger as she was at the bedside of a dying friend. As she started to gently sing, her friend’s vital signs stabilized, and he seemed to pass away peacefully. It wasn’t until a few years later that Munger thought that soothing song — a lullabye for the end of life — might also work for others on the threshold. Her idea of a “Threshold Choir” — people who, when requested, would volunteer their services to comfort the dying as well as the family — started to come together.
Threshold Choirs have since grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Each chapter has its own guidelines, its own personality, Ackerman says. The Yellow Springs chapter, one of the first, was started over 10 years ago by Teresa Sapunar, who, upon recently moving away, turned leadership over to a group of women. The choir practices the first three Sundays of every month, and sings at Friends Care Community on the fourth Sunday. Each Wednesday, the choir sings at a Springfield hospice for those who request it.