Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


From the Staff @ HIEC

Christ Chapel welcomes first art installation

We are happy to welcome “Praying for Peace” to Christ Chapel for Pentecost and the Season after.

This temporary art installation is the work of one of our own, Alice Ball. The sculpture, which has been sought by other galleries and institutions, makes its debut among us as an invitation to prayer and meditation.

We invite you and others to experience this installation, not only during our liturgies, but during the week as well. Our building is open from Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

-Michael R. Sullivan-



Praying for Peace

I had no intention of creating a work of art in March 2003. I was simply dealing with the rage and powerlessness I was feeling in the face of our country’s decision to make war in Iraq. I marched for peace for the first time in my life on Sunday March 16 in San Francisco where I was visiting family.

By the time the bombing began three days later I was despairing and at loose ends. Seeking comfort, I rented a car and drove to the retreat center in San Rafael where I had been going for many years.  I spent time in the chapel and then with a friend on the staff, a person at least as distressed as I about the war. She showed me a new way to fold origami cranes. We made a few together in silence. I made a copy of her new directions and headed back across the Golden Gate Bridge a bit more serene than I had been a few hours earlier.

A few days later I had returned home to Atlanta, still angry and hopeless and sorrowful about the war. When I was unpacking, I found the directions for making cranes and realized that if our government spokespeople were right in their predictions, the war would be short. I could fold a crane as a prayer for peace, one for each day there were troops from our country under fire in Iraq.


The cranes you see here are physical manifestations of my prayers. What is unseen are the effects on me as my feelings shifted and as my meditations on peace became broader.

I believe the purpose of art is to make us feel - not to feel a particular way, but to feel what is evoked by the work itself. My feelings deepened and evolved as I made my daily journey of prayer and reflection on peace. Many times peace eluded me. Many times I went AWOL from meditating for a while. Always I was given grace to return to my meditative prayers with the cranes.  

I invite you to discover what these cranes evoke for you. "What do your prayers look like?"

-Alice Ball-