Hours of Sharing

December 20 – 22, 2023

9:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

December 23 2023

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

If you are unable to make and of these times, please contact the church at 402-564-8862 for an appointment time or more information. 

You may also view it by parking in front of the office on the south side of the building above the sign starting December 13,2023 in the evening!


The International Peace Light/North American Peace Light will arrive in Columbus on December 7, 2023, and will be displayed in St. Luke’s United Church of Christ for everybody to see and share during this holiday season.

The International Peace Light project originated in Austria in 1986 and is dedicated to spreading a continuous flame, along with a message of peace and unity, from the birthplace of Jesus across the world.  There are 15 oil lamps burning around the grotto at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birth city of Jesus.  They have been maintained by the Greek Orthodox (6), Armenian Apostolic (5) and Catholic (4), churches and have burned continuously for more than 1,000 years.


Each year, a young child captures a live flame at the beginning of the Christmas season. The flame is then passed around the world with a message of peace and friendship.  It is never allowed to go out.  Austrian Airways flies the live flame from Bethlehem to Austria, then to various points around the world. The Peace Light enters the United States in New York City where a large distribution ceremony is open to the public as part of Peace Light North America, many organizations such as Churches and Scouting organizations then receive the flame there, where it begins its journey across the United States and beyond.  The flame is never allowed to extinguish as it passes person to person in public candlelight ceremonies, at churches, within families, fire pits and sometimes, just two individuals meeting in a parking lot.

This flame is a symbol of peace and friendship. It reminds us that even though there is still much darkness in the world, you and I can overcome that darkness to create a peaceful community. 

There is a classic church saying that states “In essentials – unity, in non-essentials – liberty or diversity, in all things-charity.” Our faith does not have to be alike. We can live and work together in harmony and teach others to do the same

The prophet Isaiah said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.”

For Christians, many see The Peace Light of Bethlehem as symbolic of the Light of Christ, especially evident at Christmas, as meant to promote peace, harmony, and unity among all people of the world regardless of race, ethnicity, or creed.

What starts as a small flame from the town of Jesus’ birth, spreads person to person across the world with the message of promoting peace, harmony, and unity.

The light of this flame is a visible reminder of the mission we all share: to keep the hope of peace alive in our homes, our communities, and our world. 


St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, located at 1072 21st Ave, Columbus Nebraska, will be hosting the sharing of the Peace Light for anyone would like to see it, or spend some time in silent reflection.


Candles will be provided for all participants to receive their own infused candle. If you wish to take the Peace Light Home, please bring an enclosed candle, or lantern and arrange a safe way to transport it so that you can share it with others. In addition to sharing the Peace Light, we will be hosting a Nativity Display and accepting donations of food or supplies for the Food Pantry. If someone wants to make a cash donation, the donations will be given to emergency relief organizations in the community.    

St. Luke’s will transition into a “Keeper of the Light” role after the Season, ensuring its upkeep throughout the year and are more than willingness to share it with others upon request.


What is the Peace Light?

The Peace Light is a perpetual flame originating from the site of Jesus birth and spread around the world with a message of peace and friendship.

Who can participate with the Peace Light?

The Peace Light program is open to anyone.

How long should I keep my flame?

Some only burn a candle for a few minutes, some maintain the flame through Christmas or Epiphany, others choose to become a Keeper of the Light and maintain it for an extended period. The decision really depends on you and your circumstances; any choice is correct.

Do I have to share the flame with someone else? Who should I share with?

We encourage everyone to share the Peace Light’s message of peace and friendship. Consider sharing with anyone who will appreciate the gift or needs a bit of hope!  You can also give it as a gift and include it in weddings and funerals.

What if my flame goes out?

As a Keeper of the Light will be happy to share with you again. St. Luke’s will be happy to share the flame with you!

What is a Peace Light infused candle?

This is a candle that has burned the Peace Light then been extinguished. While the Peace Light is meant to be shared as a continuous flame, Peace Light infused candles are occasionally used when it is not possible to transfer a live flame.

How does the Peace Light get to North America?

Austrian Airlines flies the Peace Light from Vienna, Austria into New York City each year. The Catholic Committee for Scouting of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens hosts a reception and distribution ceremony at John F. Kennedy Airport where the flame begins its journey across North America.

When does the flame arrive?

Austrian Airlines chooses the date they will bring the Peace Light to the United States this year it will arrive on December 3, 2023.

Where in North America does the Peace Light travel?

The goal is for the Peace Light to reach every corner of the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.

Where can I find more information?

Just visit the map on our Find the Peace Light page.