Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Glandorf connected in a very special way on Saturday morning.. The two parishes each layed a one-mile penny chain from the door of their church to connect at the O-G Soccer field on O-G Road.
The two parishes were teaming up to promote peace.
Since early March students in both parishes have been collecting pennies for the event. “They were so enthused,” said Glandorf CCD teacher Miss Klausing. “Every day they were bringing in bags of pennies saying “we have pennies.”
The idea for the Pennies for Peace began several months ago when various members of the parish were in Columbus and saw a group working to beat the Guinness Book of Records on making a chain. The churches don’t want to set any record. They just wanted to make a difference and promote peace in the community and in the world.
The “Pennies for Peace” event kicked off in March when students gathered at SS Peter and Paul Elementary to make Peace Rosaries and learn more about from both parishes the project.. Committee members from both churches explained different parts of the project during the program. As they made their peace rosaries the students were encouraged to continue to pray for peace.
Following a brief service Saturday morning inside each church the students and adults went outside as groups to different locations along the path to begin to lay the pennies. A tarp had been laid along the entire length of the path earlier in the morning by volunteer adults and their children.
The path ran down Locust Street in Ottawa to Main Street. It continued along Main Street to OG Road. The Glandorf link started on Main Street at the church and continued south to OG Road. Both chains met in the front of the OG Soccer Field along OG Road where a service was held as the chain of pennies was completed.
As each parish completed their penny chain they met again at the church and held a procession along the same path as the penny chain.
Over 350 students and adults took part in Saturday’s event.
“It went very well,” said Teresa Lanwehr, a member of the “Pennies for Peace” planning committee. “The only glitch may have been timing, but it all worked out.”
As the service concluded volunteers were already collecting the pennies along the path. It was estimated that 85,000 pennies were needed for each mile of the penny chain.
Lanwehr said the pennies will be taken to a local bank to be counted. The pennies will go to support numerous missions including Catholic Charities, Heartbeat of Lima, St. Jude’s, Relay for Life, Thrift Store, Precious Blood Missions, and local families.
“We just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped in anyway,” Lanwehr said.