Two years ago, Claire Chandler and her husband, Gary, moved to Citrus County from way up north in New Hampshire.
Since then, the creative Claire has expanded on her storytelling, poetry and crafting. One of her favorite poems was written while still in New Hampshire, “The What If.”
She has often been told that her poem should be more widely known. One of the ways she is trying to get it out there, and to bring people of different opinions together, is to present an open forum peace initiative called “Walk With Me on a Gentle Path to Peace.”
The forum will be held in Lecanto at the Unity Church of Citrus County, starting on June 5 and running for six weeks, from 4-5:30 p.m. There is a possibility to extend the session, depending on interest and participation.
“Everyone has a different perception of peace,” Chandler said. “I don’t see myself as an activist, I see myself as an advocate.”
Chandler said she wants this forum to be an open conversation with respectful listening. Everyone is welcome.
It is a good way to exchange ideas and expand one’s knowledge, Chandler said. “I’ve learned the most in my life when I was listening.”
This will be a casual gathering in a safe environment. Ideas, views, feelings and coping strategies will be shared in an effort to bridge the gulf of divisiveness, she said. The object is to walk as one in fellowship on a “gentle path to peace.”
Chandler has conducted forums in the past during her career as a nurse and a social worker in a long-term care facility, so this undertaking is nothing new for her. She was also a board member of the New Hampshire Story Telling Association. Since moving, she is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Story Telling Association.
Her creativity comes to life with this pursuit. She creates dolls, animals and even fairies that bring her stories to life. With her communication abilities, she seems destined to conduct this open forum.
To register for the “Walk With Me on a Gentle Path to Peace” forum, call Claire Chandler at 603-545-7333 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.