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by Kelly Ann

As part of my ward’s Christmas party program, which was an amazing combination of individual and group music numbers, performances, and poetry to celebrate the holiday season, I read the words of Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem.

Fairly shy in large group settings, I am not sure what moved me, other than a request from a new friend to help fill the program, to stand in front of 150+ people.   However as I thought about it, I wanted to share something that communicated the peace of the season and brought a message to remind us of the importance of our struggles and our community.  And that is what I want to share here as well by sharing links to readings and full texts of Maya Angelou’s poem (although doing so might “out” me to a few more individuals).

Interview and reading with Maya Angelou: http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/maya-angelou-recites-her-christmas-poem/61cvycc

A child’s reading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-THMSC65xkY

Full text: http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/poetry/amazingpeace.asp

But as I have memorized the words, they have become intertwined with my personal faith journey, given I have really been stepping back into church by participating in things like the Christmas program, and really move me in ways I cannot express.  The following is a personal poetic reflection of a fraction of that combination.  Please appreciate Maya Angelou’s words for themselves with the above links.  I do not mean to reinterpret them for they have so many more important layers of meaning.  However, I want to try to share my thoughts as well as some of my favorite links from the site this year, with you the community of the Exponent which despite continual questioning has given me so much peace this year.

Happy New Year!!

My Peace by Kelly Ann

(A scattered mind processing and obtaining peace from the following condensed interpretation of Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)


Thunder and lightning rattles my faith.

Polygamy, polyandry, feminist issues, abuse of power, Prop8

Avalanched. On top of me.

I question myself.  I dream. I eat. I play.

I interrogate and worry God.

Are you there? Are you there really?

What about my covenants?


But joy, hope, and forgiveness

Encourage me to come away from rancor,

Come the way of friendship.

No more a stranger, I find myself on higher ground.

With hope born again in faces of those here and before

In my head, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, neck, shoulders,

back, breast, loins, arms, hands, legs, and feet.


I maybe hear a whisper. Half heard.

The word is Peace.

I am thrilled by its presence.  I have hungered for

A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.

Come. Peace.  Stay awhile.

Help me look beyond complexion and see community.

Help us translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.


At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ

Into the great religions of the world.

We jubilate the precious advent of trust.

We shout with glorious tongues the coming of hope.

All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices to celebrate the promise of


We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,

Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.


We look at our world and speak the word aloud.


We look at each other, then into ourselves,

And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation:

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul

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6 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    What a cool way to do a year-in-review. Thanks!

  2. Caroline says:

    Yes, this is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this. And I’m glad you shared the poem with your ward. I think that’s exactly what we need in our congregations – more honesty, more vulnerability.

  3. mb says:

    Thanks for the link to the poem. I enjoyed that. A blessed New Year to you.

  4. Kelly Ann says:

    Thanks Deborah, Caroline, and Mb. I’m glad you guys appreciated it.

    Caroline, honesty and vulnerability has allowed me to get to the point I’m at, and I hope I will continue to be shaped by those two factors, and contribute to my congregation with them as well. It sometimes scares me to death though.

    On a side note, being more open has allowed me to find more Exponent lurkers in person which has been awesome. Both my bishop and stake president (who I also consider friends) know about my blogging and support it because they see the way it has made me better and I have also realized they recognize more areas of grayness in life and the church than I did before. I consider myself lucky for that.

  5. EmilyCC says:

    Kelly Ann, you’ve just given me a new favorite Christmas poem. It’s just beautiful and all the more special with your links. Thank you!

  6. Kelly Ann says:

    Emily, thank you. It is my new favorite Christmas poem as well.

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