Tag Archives: justice

12 June 2021

Walking. Germantown.
The Greatest – Sia (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Hands – Various Artists
Love Make the World Go Round – Jennifer Lopez & Lin-Manuel Miranda
Pulse – Chakra Khan
Not Myself – Sharon Van Etten
Razade Mi Colores – Ricky Martin
I Know a Place – MUNA
Misirlou – Kumbia Queers
Here in Spirit – Jim James
Beautiful Strangers – Kevin Morby
Pulse – Mel Hsu
Antonio – Bruno Toro
God Bless the Children – TT the Artist
La Yuta – Dani Umpi
Pulse (The City Beautiful) – Zen Fuse Box
Pulse – Melissa Etheridge
I Am Orlando – Alejandra Ribera

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, Louisville, Music, playlist

The Tulsa Massacre

Among the many reflections on the Tulsa race massacre, here is one from the Presbyterian Historical Society:

“On June 1, 1921 the Black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma–Greenwood, known as Black Wall Street, where Black migrants from the South had prospered in the city’s oil boom–was burned down by white rioters. The governor called in the National Guard and evacuated Tulsa’s Black population, some 6,000 people, to the city convention center and fairgrounds. Three hundred people are estimated to have been killed. Presbyterians were present during the events leading to the massacre, were present in the midst of them, and are reckoning with them today.”

Read the whole story

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Act During the 2021 National Week of Action for MMIWG

Since 2017, grassroots actions on May 5th to honor and call for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) have increasingly grown at the local, regional, national, and international level. Native families, advocates, and Indigenous nations continue to rise up to challenge the silence, tolerance, and inaction in response to the crisis of MMIWG.

In 2021, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) and the National Partners Work Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are organizing a full National Week of Action (April 29-May 5) to call the nation and the world to action in honor of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Please sign on to support the Senate and House resolutions declaring May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

Here are some upcoming events:

Monday, May 3, 2021

  • Webinar—Nā Hānauna Ho’ōla (Healing Generations), 8 a.m. HST (12 p.m. MDT), hosted by the Pouhana O Na Wahine (Pillars of Women) | Register

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

  • Webinar—Spotlight Alaska and the Crisis of MMIWG, 11 a.m. AKT (1 p.m. MDT), hosted by the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center | Register

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

  • #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Storm, 10–10:30 a.m. MDT
  • #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Chat, 12–1 p.m. MDT | View question script
  • Webinar—Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Day of Action, Uplifting the Voices of MMIW Survivor Families, 1 p.m. MDT, hosted by NIWRC | Register
  • Running for Justice: Remembering Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Virtual 5k, 10k & Half Marathon, hosted by Rising Hearts (May 5-9) | Register

Here are some resources:

Sharable Resources for MMIWG

  • Download the ‘No More Stolen Sisters’ poster and share a photo of yourself wearing red and/or traditional attire with the poster on social media using #MMIWGActionNow, #NoMoreStolenSisters and #MMIWG.
  • Explore MMIW Toolkit for Understanding and Responding to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women for Families and Communities.
  • Claim free print subscription for NIWRC’s Restoration of Native Sovereignty and Safety for Native Women magazine, courtesy of Urban Indian Health Institute.
  • Share StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-762-8483) with relatives facing domestic, dating or sexual violence. Online chat is available at strongheartshelpline.org.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events

#AAPI Women Strong

From my friend Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF):

“As the country finally comes to realization that AAPI women have experienced racialized misogyny for centuries- the people who have been leading and working in the intersection of race and gender, especially who identify as AAPI surrounded me with so much support. Check in texts, emails, venmoing me lunch money, sending delivery dinner so my kid wouldn’t starve. Among them, there are fierce and kick ass AAPI women leaders who wanted to uplift NAPAWF’s 25 year’s of work- the audacity to believe that we, as AAPI women deserve to be seen and heard. Among them are Christina Baal-Owens and her team Public Wise and Mini Timmaraju who have worked to put together a fundraiser for NAPAWF along with allies at Onward Together. I’m so humbled by the show of support from Christina, Mini, Onward Together and all our special guests. Thank you for your support and affirmation of the important mission of NAPAWF.Please join us for an evening where we center AAPI women and our vision to build power for a future where we can all thrive. April 21st, 7PM ET. Virtual event with tickets ranging from $25 and up.”

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events

A prayer for Noble Road Presbyterian Church

Tricia and I served as co-pastors of Noble Road Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio from September 1985 through September 2000. There Eric was baptized, Sean and Eric joined the church, Sean and Eric were ordained as elders, and Eric was ordained as a minister of the word and sacrament.

After a prayerful process of discernment, the congregation made the faithful, courageous, and probably a bit painful, decision to sell the building. This week the sale of the building was approved by the Presbytery of the Western Reserve and the Heights Libraries Board of Trustees (the purchaser). The church is located next to the Noble Neighborhood branch of Heights Libraries. The purchase will allow Heights Libraries to expand the Noble branch building to broaden the services it offers to the surrounding community. It will allow the church building to continue to be used as a place where the community is served.

Because the church is not a building, the congregation will continue in ministry. The congregation is in the process of discerning what that ministry will look like. No doubt it will be faithful, creative, welcoming and including, and committed to justice.

A prayer for Noble Road Presbyterian Church

God of all places,
we thank you for your gift of the place
known as Noble Road Presbyterian Church.
We remember with gratitude
all who worshipped in the sanctuary,
all who provided music in any form,
all who affirmed faith at the font,
all who proclaimed the gospel in the pulpit,
all who received assurance at the table,
all who studied in the classrooms,
and all who went out with the support of the community
to witness and work for justice
in Cleveland Heights, Greater Cleveland, Ohio, the United States, and around your world.
For all whose lives were touched, blessed, enriched, challenged
by the people of Noble Road Presbyterian Church,
we give you thanks and praise.
Guide the congregation members as they
discern new ways to be a community, to worship, and to serve.
Lead the Heights Libraries as they repurpose the building
to continue to serve the Noble community and the world.
With thanks for what was,
some tears for what is,
and profound excitement for what will be,
we offer all praise to you, O God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

this prayer draws on some images from a prayer in the Book of Common Worship

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Filed under Cleveland Heights, Current Events, Family, Friends

A prayer for people in our lives

For those who live in faith,
for those who live in hope,
for those who live in love,
for those who do justice
and love kindness
and walk humbly with you,
for those whose living
melts the hardness of our hearts,
touches our souls,
and draws us closer to you,
we give you thanks, O God.
Amen.

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Filed under Friends, Prayer

A prayer for Breonna Taylor

God for us all,
we remember your beloved child
Breonna Taylor.
We will not forget her,
we cannot forget her.
Nor can we forget the
countless other Black lives
so needlessly and callously taken from us.
We give thanks for Breonna’s life and love.
We cry out that Breonna is gone too soon –
unjustly killed one year ago.
Comfort Breonna’s
family, friends, and community
in their grief.
Inspire and guide those
who continue to witness and work for
justice for Breonna.
May their efforts touch the hearts of people in power
so they repent and reconsider
and heed the call for justice.
May we all work to demand accountability,
deconstruct white supremacy,
and allow justice and equity to roll down.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
this prayer draws on language from Senator Reverend Ralph Warnock

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Louisville

Tonight We Remember

An Ash Wednesday sermon – February 17, 2021
preached at the First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens

Beloved people of God,
every year at Easter
we celebrate the new possibilities
God provides through the life, the death,
and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During Lent, we prepare for this celebration
and the renewal it brings to our lives.

For many years we have begun
Our Lenten journey with ashes,
often made by burning the palms from the year before.
Mixed with a little oil,
the ashes are traced on our foreheads
in the sign of a cross.

This year we physically distance
while we spiritually gather one Christ,
I, as the pastor, will not impose ashes.
If you have received ashes
in the congregation’s Lenten worship bag or
if you have gathered “loose dust” from in or around your home,
and you would like to use the dust or ash
to make the sign of the cross  
on your head or hand,
we will pause to allow you to do that.
We will take a minute of silence,
which my friend the Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes reminds us
is an eternity of silence for Presbyterians.
You may also decide to impose the sign of the cross
later in the service – when the sermon gets boring, for example.

Whether we impose the sign of the cross or not,
dust and ashes will play a role in our service.
I invite you to take the ashes you received
or the loose dust you have gathered.
If you have neither, image ashes and dust you have seen.
Look at them.
Consider them.
Think about one of their functions
in Ash Wednesday services.

Ashes, loose dust
jog our memories.
They help us remember what is;
they help us remember what will be.

Tonight we remember.

We remember our mortality.
From dust God makes us.
In the marvelous words of James Weldon Johnson:
Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
God kneeled down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till God shaped it in God’s own image;
Then into it God blew the breath of life,
And the human became a living soul.

We come from dust.
To dust we will return.
We are mortal. Limited. Finite.
One day our time on earth will end
our race will finish,
our part in God’s great story will close,
the final curtain will fall

and God will welcome us.

Tonight we remember.
We remember our need for repentance.
We remember how we fall short.
How we hurt one another.
How we tolerate social injustice.
How we wound God’s good creation.
How by our actions
and by our failures to act,
we break the heart of God.
We remember our need to turn and follow Jesus Christ
more faithfully this and every day.

Tonight we remember.
We remember those who have gone before us.
We remember people we knew and loved fiercely.
We remember people we never met but whose stories we have learned.
We remember people whose stories have never been told.
In this age of COVID-19, we remember countless people,
who have died from this pandemic.
We remember people killed by the state and racism.
People whose God-given breath was taken from them.
Whether we remember names or not,
we remember each person was and is a beloved child of God,

Tonight we remember.
the unending mercy of God,
the unbreakable grace of God,
the unflagging patience of God.
We remember the incredible love of God
who refuses to give up on us,
and who persistently awaits our return
eager to pour the Holy Spirit afresh upon us
that we might make a fresh start.

Tonight we remember.
that Lent is a time to give up.
Perhaps, like my friend the Rev. Gradye Parsons,
we make a supreme spiritual sacrifice
and give up kale.
More realistically, we seek to give up
that which truly separates and distracts us from God.

Tonight we remember.
that Lent is a time to stand up.
A time to
remove all yokes of injustice,
disrupt prejudice and systems of oppression,
feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
visit the sick and the imprisoned
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted.
A time to:
raise the foundations of many generations
repair breaches
restore the streets.
Following Jesus, we stand up in Lent.
We stand up to love.

Tonight, my friend the Rev. Shawna Bowman reminds me,
that as we begin the Lenten journey
of repenting and turning back to God
of prayer and fasting
of commemorating Jesus’ journey to death – and beyond,
we remember.
We “are all made from the same dust
That busted forth at the birthplace of creation,
And [we] belong, In life and in death,
to the one who calls [us] beloved.
[We] belong to God.”
And whatever challenges life brings
and however we may fall short,
God, who raises Jesus from the dead,
will have the final word.
And God’s word will be a word of
love and
life and
hope and
joy.

Tonight we remember.
Thanks be to God.

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Filed under Easter, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Lent

So, dusty

Friends –
we are dust.
But do you not know
have you not seen
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
All of creation
every blessed creature,
every amazing facet,
every wonderful human being
you and me and all of us,
made from dust by God.
Made from dust and beloved of God.
So Dusty, if I may call us each that.
Go Dusty,
go and live.
Go and love kindness.
Go and do justice.
Go and walk this Lenten journey humbly with God.
Know, Dusty, that
the love of God
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the peace and fellowship of the Holy Spirit
are with us now and forever.
Amen.
17 February 2021
inspired by a blessing from Jan Richardson

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Filed under Lent, Poem, Prayer

#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