Tag Archives: freedom

#FreeThePeopleDay!

Tomorrow is the 4th annual #FreeThePeopleDay! On New Years Eve in 2017, the Community Justice Exchange started this initiative. This year the CJE, the New Sanctuary Coalition, and others, again call people to donate the cost of a drink to their local community bail or bond fund.

Freedom means freedom from cages, and it also means freedom to thrive. Support the holistic freedom of your neighbors and donate to a local mutual aid effort, community bail fund or immigration bond fund. Find a fund in your area.

Tricia and I are in. We will give to the Louisville Community Bail Fund project of BLM Louisville.

Thank you if you choose to participate.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights

Light a candle – New Year’s Eve

I will join my friends in the New Sanctuary Coalition in lighting a candle on New Year’s Eve. Will you join us?

In 2020, too many lights were dimmed by COVID19.

Immigrant, migrant, and refugee communities have been devastated by the impact of the virus and by the family separation the U.S. immigration system has wrought.

Thousands of our Friends are still detained, and in danger, and ICE is responsible. Thousands more live in constant fear of being torn from their families and communities at any moment.

Let us come together in community and solidarity with those in limbo at the border and in detention all over the United States. Let us keep those who have been unjustly stripped of freedom in our hearts. We will not look away from injustice and inhumanity. ‪

At 11pm on New Year’s Eve, let’s light‬ up the night sky and illuminate the the freedom we will continue to fight for. Share a picture or video of your lit candle and tag us. Use the hashtags #lightacandle #dontlookaway #FreeThemAll

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights

A prayer for the Movement

A prayer for the Movement

The bad news, the sad news
kept coming through the day, O God.
The Rev. C.T. Vivian died in the morning.
Congressman John Lewis died in the evening.
Their deaths call to mind the death of
the Rev. Joseph Lowery but a few months ago
and the death of Emma Sanders last week.
Each worked for justice.
Each joined the struggle for civil rights, for human rights.
Each provided leadership to that effort.
We thank you for their lives,
their faith,
their courage,
their love,
their witness, and
their work.
We give thanks that they rest with you in peace and that they will rise in power.
Comfort their families and friends and all who grieve.
May their memories shine brightly
in our hearts, minds, and souls.
As we remember them,
may we also remember
the folk whose names are known to but a few,
but are written in your Book of Life.
The members of the Movement
for freedom,
for equity,
for justice.
As we remember,
may we be strengthened
to be outraged at injustice
wherever, however, it occurs
that we might take our place and do our part
in that Movement,
whenever, whatever that may be.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Note: the image of “folk whose names are known but to a few, but are written in your Book of Life” was first given to me by the Rev. Dr. Otis Turner.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights, Prayer

New Year’s Eve Witness

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The New Sanctuary Coalition encourages this action as a witness on New Year’s Eve:

 

🙏🏽Please share widely🙏🏽
Immigrants are dying in detention. This Administration separates families, and locks parents and children in cages. They are inhumane and evil.
Come together in community and solidarity with migrants and refugees at the border and in detention all over the United States.
Let us keep those who have been unjustly stripped of freedom in our hearts.
We will not look away from injustice and inhumanity.
‪At 11pm on New Year’s Eve, let’s light‬ up the night sky and illuminate the beginning of a new decade of freedom.

Share a picture or video of your lit candle and tag us. Use the hashtags #lightacandle #dontlookaway #FreeThemAll

Watch for my picture. I hope to see yours.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights

Human Rights Day, Seventy Years On

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This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The Declaration, and the commitment of UN Member States to affirm and implement its principles, has resulted in the dignity of people uplifted, untold human suffering prevented and the foundations for a most just world have been laid in the treaty regime built upon the Declaration. It is both an aspirational, visionary document and a set of standards that permeates international law.

The Declaration articulates a vision that has been built upon and used to extend rights and protect people around the globe. In a world where exploitation and violation are so strong, we can be grateful for the many ways in which the Declaration has had an impact. Its successes are many.

At the same time, violations of international law and human dignity are perpetrated in many countries. In a report released on Friday, a team of experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council noted that:

Recent memory is replete with multiple examples of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Impunity reigns supreme in many countries undergoing conflicts or political upheavals, encouraged by narrow national objectives, geopolitics and political impasse at the United Nations Security Council.

The report expressed concern that an “upsurge of nationalism and xenophobia seen in countries of asylum, at a time of rising forced-migration” is “reversing the gains of international humanitarian cooperation of the last 70 years.”

UN News notes that :In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, the UN is urging people everywhere to “Stand Up for Human Rights”.

One way to do that is to  choose a place in the world where human rights are abused (including in the United States of America) and become informed. Take one action today that affirms and celebrates the worth and dignity and rights of others.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Death Penalty, Human Rights, United Nations

A freedom I am thankful for

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If voting makes no difference, why do some people work so hard to see that other people cannot exercise that freedom?

Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home has provided a gift of the November 2018 Gratitude Every Day calendar. I am using it as an opportuity to revisit photos and post them as they speak to gratitude.

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Lent 2017, day 31

lenten-reflections-on-the-confession-of-belhar“The Belhar pushes the church, as she confesses, to be present in the lives of others beyond formal gatherings and policy-making engagements. Belhar calls the church to come to know itself, to actually love the neighbor, and set captives free.”
Mark Lomax
Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar

God help me, help the church, love our neighbors and free captives. Guide our actions.

This Lenten season I am using a new resource to explore the Belhar Confession: Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar, edited by Kerri N. Allen and Donald K. McKim. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in which I serve as a teaching elder (pastor), added the Confession of Belhar to our Book of Confessions in 2016. This confession came from the Dutch Reformed Mission Church during its historic struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Lent

The color of the day is green

IMG_1708Friday Prince. Today Ireland.

Friday purple.Today green.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising of Irish men and women against the occupation and oppression of England. More civilians were killed during the rising than were combatants on both sides. Guerrilla warfare followed that resulted in England leaving Ireland. The agreement to end that war partitioned the country: 26 counties became the Irish Free State; 6 counties in the north remained part of the United Kingdom. Civil war ensued but did not change that configuration. The Troubles convulsed Northern Ireland; progress has been made toward peace, the journey is not complete.

In remembrance and prayer, green was today’s color.

Note April 24 also marks the day the Armenian genocide began in 2015.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Exercise, Ireland

Declaration

Independence.

Live free.
Live full.
Live well.

Independence from
old patterns,
learned habits,
undeserved guilt.

Live free.
Live full.
Live well.

Live free.
Live full.
Live well.

Independence
in the coming year,
on this very day,
at every moment.

Live free.
Live full.
Live well.

Independence
to laugh
to love
to live.

Live free.
Live full.
Live well.

24 December 2015
Cleveland Heights, OH

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17 March – each year, every year

I speak for no others,
only for myself.
For me, this day has
nothing to do with
green beer or
green rivers or
green clothing,
this day has nothing to do with
pinching me or kissing me;
my bad jokes aside,
this day has nothing to do even with Jameson.
Today is a day
to remember oppression
to honor resistance
to recognize that, despite the efforts of
systems of race and racialization
to separate us,
struggles for dignity and justice,
freedom and equality,
human rights and humanity
are inseparably linked:
none of us are free until all of us are free.
for that reason, in that spirit, and in my own fashion,
I mark this day, and each 17th of March.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Fitzgerald, from County Cork, on my mother’s side.

See you along the Trail!

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights, Ireland