“Like a tree that’s planted by the water ....”


Carolyn writes:

About three hundred people gathered outside the Livermore Nuclear Weapons laboratory at 7 a.m.

Rev. Nobu Hanaoka, a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, spoke :

    “Today we commemorate the suffering death of Christ on the cross. Because we know that in the Cross is a redemption of human race and beyond Calvary awaits the dawn of a new day, we boldly acknowledge the wrong choices we have made, the wrong paths we have taken, and the sins we have committed, that brought us where we are today Therefore, my sisters and brothers, let us also be bold enough to consider the changes we must make to be accountable to God’s redeeming grace. 

    “As a result of the path we have taken and the choices we have made, our planet and its inhabitants are daily threatened by global climate change, mass starvation, diminishing natural resources, nuclear proliferation, ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, homelessness, the unknown consequences of the war in Iraq for the Middle East and the rest of the world. Today, therefore, more than ever before, we need to renew our commitment to acknowledging the wrong and changing the ways.”

Rev. Hanaoka went on to detail of the results of the blasts in Japan, the history of the development of nuclear weapons both during World War II and afterwards as the U.S. sought to maintain its dominance in nuclear weapons. He spoke of the nuclear arms race, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that did not happen and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its successes and failures.  He also described the dangers of nuclear power. 

He concluded:

    “We have long demanded other nations to comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while we were maintaining and improving our own nuclear weapons program at such facilities as Livermore Nuclear Lab. If we expect other countries to abide by the treaty, shouldn’t we also make good on the promise we made?

“To reduce the possibilities of accidents, human errors, or theft, we must immediately and dramatically reduce the number of nuclear arsenals, and work toward their complete elimination. At the same time, we must reject reliance on nuclear power altogether and work toward developing sources of renewable energy in a sustainable way. At the same time, our pulpits should be preaching a new value system, less is better, sharing, rather than competing, is better. There is no pride in military supremacy, but in moral leadership. Let us leave to our posterity a nuclear-free, safe and peaceful world. Let us rise with Christ come Easter and begin to live a new life as responsible stewards of God’s beautiful creation.”

Included in the service was a water-offering ceremony, widely practiced in Japan to remember the people severely burned by the atomic blasts and their search for water to slake their tremendous thirst. 

Along the route of the procession to the main gate of the lab were four stations where people could stop and make their own water offerings. About fifty people were arrested at the main entrance of the lab.

For the complete text of Rev. Hanakoa’s sermon, click here:

“We Thirst for Peace”

Lindsay’s photos can be seen at Good Friday photos.


April 10, 2009                                          6:45 a.m.






SACRED TEXTS    Amos 5: 21-24
                                 Mark 9:41

HOMILY:  “We Thirst for Peace”


Bruce Barthol

Sally Laidlow Williams

Marylia Kelley

Brandon Williams Craig

“Woke Up This Morning”

Rev. Renae Extrum-Fernandez

Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka

Akiko Miyake-Stoner

For Victims and Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings

One:    When the heat wave from the atomic explosion reached the ground level, it scorched everything in its way, including hundreds of thousands of innocent people.  Many of them simply evaporated and those who survived it were severely burned and dehydrated. “Water, give me water.” “Please, give me some water.” The weak voices of those ghostly figures in procession pleading for water still echo in our ears.

All:    Let us offer them a cup of water to quench their thirst.

One:    The pleas for a peaceful and nuclear-free world by those who suffered unspeakable pains and grief in Hiroshima and Nagasaki sixty-three years ago shall not be silenced.

All:    Let us offer them water of peace.

One:    Let all who thirst for peace join them and seek the water of peace.

All:    We thirst for peace and seek the water of peace.

One:    As we offer water to the altar of the holy, let us renew our commitment never to allow such sufferings and such destruction anywhere on the face of the earth. We commit our spiritual and material resources...

 All:    ... for a just, peaceful and nuclear free world.
                   ... for a just, peaceful and nuclear free world.



(Tax Deductible contributions
made out to: EPI)

SONG:  “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream”



David  Raymond and Odette Lockwood-Stewart


Bruce Barthol

Esther Ho

           ...some to gates of the Lab to engage in civil disobedience 
           ...some to witness the action and pray
           ...some returning to home, work, school, travel
           ...all to hold faith communities accountable to wage peace
           ...all to work for peace. All to work for peace. Go in peace!

CLOSING SONG:  “Down By the Weapons Lab”


Organizations planning the Good Friday Worship & Witness:

Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC
P.O. Box 9334
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 655-1162

Livermore Conversion Project
P.O. Box 28119
Oakland, CA 94604
(510) 639-9095

Support was given by:   

    Declaration of Peace† -- San Mateo County
    Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose
    Epworth United Methodist Church, Berkeley
    Father Bill O’Donnell Social Justice Committee
    First Congregational Church of Alameda (UCC)
    Mustardseed Affinity Group
    Night on the Streets, Catholic Worker of Berkeley
    Pax Christi Tri-Valley
    Religious Witness with Homeless People
    Tri-Valley Cares
    Trinity United Methodist Church, Berkeley
    Western States Legal Foundation

Thanks to Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, spiritual leader, author, whose latest book is On the Back of a Buffalo: Eastern Stories for Western Journey.  He is a Nagasaki A Bomb survivor.

Thanks to Bruce Barthol, songwriter, musician, writer, singer, of the Fish, The San Francisco Mime Troupe.  His latest CD is “The Decline and Fall of Everything”   


After the Action:

All are invited to the community gathering to be held today from 10:00  to 12:00 at the recreation hall at 5720 East Ave.  This will be an opportunity for us to share our ongoing work for justice and peace.