To Walk in Love and Not Fear

Kings BayFrom Clare Grady, a member of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, in an interview with Amy Goodman this week on Democracy Now, explaining why they risked twenty-five years in prison for their nonviolent action on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination:

The weapons of empire are always the threat of death and torture and incarceration and dehumanization. And so, when we undertake this, as white people of privilege, we are just adding a little tiny bit to what is ongoing of the struggle of people, where the Doomsday Clock has already hit midnight for them and their children and their grandchildren and the Earth where they live.

But I think that what we want to do…is be invitational to other people with similar privilege to say that we enjoy these privileges. But we’re not really enjoying it. There’s just tremendous cost that comes with all this. But in stepping over that line and taking that hammer and actually hammering a dent in some of these weapons system, they give you this 25-year threat, but you don’t know what the outcome is. The whole process is to encourage each other to walk in love and not fear.

Journey Into Restorative Justice

ElaineBy Elaine Enns

* This article appeared in Rock! Paper! Scissors! Tools for Anarchist + Christian Thought and Action (Vol I, No. 3). Check out the entire issue for more passionate and in depth writing like this. 

Exactly one hundred years ago as I write, during Christmas 1918, in the community of Osterwick, Ukraine, my maternal grandmother Margreta survived a two-week home invasion—one episode in what one historian called “a continuous climate of violence, plundering, rape, mass killing and extensive bloodbaths” endured by Mennonites (and others) during the Russian Civil War from 1917-1921. The men of the house had fled into the forest while thirteen-year-old Margreta and her older sister and girl cousins had been hidden in the attic. My great-grandmother Anna fed and bandaged the wounds of rough, demanding peasant soldiers in the rooms below, trying to respond to violence with courage and hospitality. It is difficult to believe that she escaped sexual violation, as claimed by family stories passed down; my studies with descendants of other Mennonite women who experienced similar depredations suggests their stories were lost, silenced, or suppressed. Still, Anna’s non-violent actions may have warded off the worst. Some months later, for example, her sister and three relatives were brutally murdered in their basement, and Margreta would lose more family members and friends in the following years. So my grandmother experienced severe trauma yet also witnessed her mother’s profound trust in God and in her religious tradition of nonresistance.

Click HERE to read the rest of Elaine’s piece at Rock! Paper! Scissors!

Elaine Enns, DMin, a Canadian Mennonite, is an educator, writer, facilitator and trainer in conflict transformation. She focuses on how restorative justice applies to historical violations, including issues of intergenerational trauma and healing. ​Elaine has been working in the field of restorative justice since 1989.  For the first 15 years of her career, she was part of the pioneering generation of contemporary restorative justice practitioners whose focus was on the Criminal Justice System. Elaine facilitated victim-offender dialogues, provided training and worked to apply restorative justice principles and theory to conflict issues in schools, communities and churches.  Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she lives in Oak View, CA, where she is co-director of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (www.bcm-net.org).

Living into that Reality with Prayer & Action

Reconciliasian imageA Lenten message from our friends at ReconciliAsian, a peace center in Los Angeles that equips leaders in Korean and Asian American churches and communities to serve in ways that promote unity, justice and peace towards reconciliation.

The forty days of Lent represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. Continue reading

Tommy Tackett and Bill Wylie-Kellermann begin 12 Day Jail Sentence

33170060_10214353732610697_5007133656053972992_oBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

On May 21, 2018, 16 people were arrested in Michigan as part of the Poor People’s Campaign 40 days of actions around the country. They blocked the entrances to the Department of Health and Human Services. It was a cry against the systemic racism so ingrained in our systems that claim to be supporting the poor. Continue reading

Salal + Cedar + Watershed Discipleship

Salal and CedarRe-posted from the website of KAIROS Canada, uniting Canadian churches and religious organizations in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

While the just transition to a clean energy economy requires new technology and new ways of understanding our planet, it also calls on us to embrace new ways of knowing one another; to living in right relations with each other and with the earth. Salal + Cedar is a ministry located in Coast Salish territory which is supporting Christians on this path. Salal + Cedar is part of a growing movement across North America called Watershed Discipleship. This movement seeks to reconnect people to the creation-values at the core of Christian tradition and explores ways for communities to reconnect with the land and water, and all living things of a particular place. For Salal + Cedar this means seeking transformative encounters with the species and geography of the Salish Sea basin and Fraser River watershed. A watershed is an area of land where precipitation and surface water flow to a single body of water. Because we are all part of a watershed, no matter where we live, we can all have these encounters in our own watersheds. Continue reading

Aftermath of the Great War’s Armistice

ArmisticeBy Ken Sehested

The Resurrection is the Beloved’s own
Armistice, intimate seal on ancient covenant,
when the rain’s own bow arches in the flood’s
aftermath as divine reminder, animus receding
by act of divine contrition:

Never again. Never again.*
No longer will Heaven respond with drowning
contempt over earth’s profaning habit. Divine
remorse calls out for creaturely requite. The
soil itself destined for fertile bounty’s return. Continue reading

A Spirituality of the Feet Moment

OzBy Dr. Oz Cole-Arnal (far left in photo), former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

As a “once upon a time” born-again fundamentalist Lutheran, nurtured and raised in a Pennsylvania steel town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who bought into that epoch’s anti-Catholicism and anti-Communism, I reflected the standard “White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant—Male” (WASP-M) privilege while being blithely unaware of the advantages this reality provided. My intense discovery of the quintessential Protestant core belief that we are made right with God, through no works of our own but solely though divine love manifested through Christ’s cross and made personal through trust in this radical God of love, combined with my academic love and success, led me to the ordained Lutheran ministry and the hope of teaching New Testament after a stint in parish ministry. Such a dream was turned on its head by a more profound conversion on the evening of April 4, 1968 when the blood of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. poured out on the balcony of Memphis, Tennessee’s Lorraine Motel. At the very moment I heard the news of his death, I feel to my knees and through my tears, vowed never to be silent in the face of injustice. Whether or not I have been true to that pledge remains in God’s loving hands, precisely where it belongs, but I highlight here one glorious moment of a fifty-year pilgrimage that I celebrate to this very day. Continue reading