Tag Archives: justice

A prayer, September 11, 2021

Gracious God,
twenty years on
we remember.

We remember
your precious children killed in
New York
Washington, DC,
Shanksville.

We remember
your precious children killed in
Afghanistan
Iraq
and around the world.

We remember
death
wounded bodies
wounded spirits
wounded souls.

We remember
acts of terror
acts of valor
acts of violence
acts of peace.

We remember
fear
anger
hate
prejudice.

We remember
kindness
courage
grace
generosity.

We remember
people coming together to
reach out
weep
sing
embrace
care.

We remember
songs ended
songs gone
songs created
songs begun
songs lived
songs shared.

Remembering,
may we take bold, faith-filled, hopeful steps
to unlearn the ways of war and
turn to ways that might make peace between people;
to overcome fear of one another
and recognize the dignity and value of every person;
to seek understanding of suffering
and nurture the empathy needed to work to alleviate it; and
to walk the paths of love
that leads to peace and justice.

Remembering Jesus,
in response to your Holy Spirit,
we pray. Amen.

with thanks to Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Chris Shelton, leaders of the United Church of Christ and Come from Away

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Filed under Current Events, Family, Friends, New York, Prayer

Demand Justice for Kaysera Stops Pretty Places


Two years ago, 18-year-old Kaysera Stops Pretty Places (Crow) was murdered in Big Horn County, Montana. Since her murder, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Montana Department of Justice have done nothing to undertake a criminal investigation. We will not stand for this – law enforcement must be held accountable. Kaysera’s family, in collaboration with National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Sovereign Bodies Institute, Rising Hearts, Elite Feats, and Bethany Yellowtail, are advocating for justice in Kaysera’s name. Help demand #JusticeforKaysera by learning more and take action through the Kaysera website. Join NIWRC’s Twitter Storm on 9/9 and the Justice for Kaysera 5K/10K Virtual Walk/Run

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights

PC(USA) Week of Action – August 25

On Wednesday, Aug. 25, the PC(USA) Week of Action will turn its attention to the LGBTQIA+ community with events including a children’s story time and a poetry and story slam. The Week of Action is designed to bring attention and action to people and communities living under different forms of oppression.

Check out the schedule and watch the events at the Week of Action home page.

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

PC(USA) Week of Action

From August 23-29, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will observe a Week of Action. The theme this year is “Shades of Oppression, Resistance and Liberation.” Each day will focus on a crisis or issue facing the people of the world. The week is evocative—it cannot cover every issue. The week also points to the breadth of resistance and liberation work being done by Presbyterians and our partners. Events will be both virtual and potentially in person.

All events will be livestreamed on the Week of Action web page where you can find the schedule with the times of the events (Eastern Daylight time). You are encouraged to watch the events live if possible. Livestreamed events will be presented in English, Korea, and Spanish. Events will be posted at a later date. There will be posts on PC(USA) social media – Facebook and Twitter.

Here is the scheduled of themes for the week:

Monday, August 23: Middle East … Our Peace

Tuesday, August 24: Vivencias Hispano-Latinas: Unidad en Cristo AND Systemic and Racialized Poverty

Wednesday, August 25: LGBTQIA+ Resilience

Thursday, August 26: No More Stolen Relatives: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit People

Friday, August 27: AAPI Resilience, Resistance, Power & Affirmation

Saturday, August 28: Black Lives Matter

Sunday, August 29: Gun Violence Response and Recognition

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Gun Violence, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Resistance

“Resistance is the secret of joy,” writes Alice Walker (Possessing the Secret of Joy)

Perhaps, in a manner akin to a mathematical equation, the words could be reversed.
Perhaps, joy is a secret of resistance.

Joy is, at one and the same time, personal and communal.
Joy comes when communities and individuals are strengthened, nourished, sustained.
Joy comes when individuals and communities welcome and embrace one another in love.
Joy comes when communities and communities affirm all God’s children.
Joy comes when individuals and communities (including God’s whole creation) thrive.
Joy comes when communities and individuals experience well-being and wholeness.
Joy comes when individuals and communities love and practice kindness.
Joy comes when communities and individuals acknowledge evil and sin, repent, and seek repair, reparation, and justice.

To work for such joy is to reject the lies that we are made for enmity … the lies that we are made to “other” and fear and hate people from whom we differ … the lies that creation is ours to exploit … the lies of white supremacy and patriarchy and homophobia and all systems and structures of oppression.

To work for such joy is to resist.

“Resistance is the secret of joy.”

Joy is a secret of resistance.

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Filed under Books, Human Rights

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