Although we’re not religious, we love being able to wander into an empty church when we find one open, for a few minutes of quiet and the particular kind of stillness they hold. We’ve sat in churches all over the world. Recently, we’ve found ourselves missing that possibility and wondering how we could get the feeling of respite that our random visits once provided.

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Then we stumbled on a piece of music that did just that in a completely unexpected way, and seemed perfectly attuned to the moment. “A Time for Peace” was recorded by the gospel group The Fantastic Shadows in 1976, led by Althea Davis’ wonderfully rough, forthright voice.

Time for Peace – The Fantastic Shadows

The chance, the chance for peace
is right now, right now, right now.
Right now.


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While searching for the song, we stumbled on the Gospel Nostalgia channel on YouTube, which is a sort of church onto itself. And there we found Sister Rosetta Tharpe (at top, who played a mean guitar) singing “Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In the Air” , which led us to the sublime original version of Edwin Hawkin’s “Oh Happy Day”.

And that brought us a dose of big fat JOY.

It all reminded us: the chance for peace is right now, often where we don’t expect it.

Sally Schneider

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