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.
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
Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Irvin Porter celebrate communion on Native American Day on September 12, 2018, at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Gregg Brekke)
LEXINGTON, Kentucky — On Thursday, Aug. 26, the Presbyterian Week of Action will focus on an ongoing crisis in Indigenous communities in the United States, Canada, and around the world with a day themed “No More Stolen Relatives: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People.”
“The day will include videos from Co-Moderator Elona Street-Stewart (Delaware Nanticoke) and the Rev. Irv Porter (Pima, Nez Perce, and Tohono O’odham), Associate for Native American Intercultural Congregational Support, that help frame the crisis from a personal place. There will be a devotional featuring a Scripture reading in the Choctaw language, a poem written by an individual who has a friend counted among the Missing and Murdered of this crisis, and a Litany for Murdered and Missing Indigenous People.”
The Second Annual Presbyterian Week of Action, Aug. 23-29, is designed to bring attention and action to people and communities living under different forms of oppression, a response to the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 invitation and Hands & Feet initiative. It is seven days with online events each day designed to illuminate the issues that the focus group for the day faces.
The Rev. Alexandra Zareth of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leads communion during the “Gifts of New Immigrants” service on Oct. 9, 2019 at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky. (File photo)
“We hope folx will join the cry of many who have been crying out and naming this crisis as such,” says Zareth, who is co-coordinating the day with the Rev. Mark Koenig, Internal Communications Specialist with the Administrative Services Group. “Our communities have felt the loss, the deaths, the questions, and the lack of action … this is not new to ‘us.’ But it is new to many, and we hope people will understand that we belong to each other; that all pain is shared pain; and that we are all called to mourn together and act together.”
“Links will be provided to study resources and further information,” Zareth says. “Finally, we want to empower siblings in Christ to respond to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to act by providing them with facts and statements that are sharable on social media and will help inform hearts and minds in ways that lead to action.”
“The Indigenous communities and their allies who work to address this crisis have adopted red as the color of the movement,” Koenig notes. “We encourage you to wear red, take a selfie, and share it on social media with the hashtag #WeekofActionPCUSA.”
This is an effort that will last more than a day or a week, Zareth and Koenig say.
“Our work for this day is only the beginning of an entire year of focus,” Zareth says. “We want our siblings in Christ to know that Native American Presbyterians will lead a worship service at 9 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 22, Native American Day in the PC(USA). Information and action sessions will take place during the months to follow that will continue to inform, equip, and inspire people to respond faithfully and together as a community of faith.”