For the Least of These

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Woodcut by Julia Jack-Scott

By Kelly Gallagher

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these siblings of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25: 35-36,40

The Rev. Dr. William Barber and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis have created a core principal in the Poor People’s Campaign that they have held firm to and modeled over and over again – to lift up and deepen the leadership of those most impacted by racism, poverty, environmental devastation, and militarism. I like the language of “most impacted” better than “the least of these,” because “least of these” in today’s society can have connotations of “not as good as” or “not as important as.” Either way, the point is the same. Like Jesus, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is calling us to engage the margins in an intimate and profound way. A way, I daresay, that has become foreign for many in the mainline church. Continue reading

Don’t Wake a Sleeping Dragon

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By Fritz Eichenberg

By: Anonymous

A few weeks ago I was sitting in Jose’s kitchen, waiting for his monthly phone call. Once a month he gets a call on a voice-recognition system: at some point during a two hour window, the phone will ring. He answers, then has to call back within three minutes. A machine recites a string of numbers, which he repeats, and then he is okay for another month. Since getting Administrative Closure of his case a few years ago, this has been the only contact he has had with the immigration folks. Finally the phone rang. I watched as he called back, heard him repeat the string of numbers. And repeat it again, and again, four times altogether. Finally he turned to me, ashen-faced. “It says it’s going to report me,” he said. Continue reading

Nuestros Sueños

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By Julia Jack-Scott

By Liza Neal

“Nuestros sueños no se detendrán incluso en la muerte.”  Our dreams will not stop even in death.

These words are painted on the Mexico side of the Border Wall.  It could have been carved on the Mayflower.  Half the Pilgrims that traveled to the “new world” died. The rest would have died if not for the mercy of the Wampanoag, who were repaid with disease, indoctrination, and their leader’s head on a spike displayed next to the Pilgrims’ crops. Continue reading

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Settler Privilege

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Samoset comes “boldly” into Plymouth settlement. Woodcut designed by A.R. Waud and engraved by J.P. Davis (1876).

By Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Reposted from Beacon Broadside.

November is Native American Heritage Month, when we as American Indian people get to have the mic for a little while. So, I’d like to take my turn at the virtual mic to talk about settler privilege, something you likely have never thought of, or have never even heard of. What you have undoubtedly heard of, however, is white privilege.

Peggy McIntosh first popularized the concept of white privilege in her now-classic 1989 essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” The impact of her essay was due at least in part to its clarity and readability; it broke down into a list of easy to understand ideas why white people have unearned advantages in society based on their skin color. Not that it was necessarily easy for white people to accept that they are in fact “more equal” than others, but the essay opened up a conversation that has gained serious traction in our social discourse, especially now when racism is on full, unobstructed display in this Trumpian moment.   Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: He Comes with the Mountains

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Cedar at the Poor People’s Campaign action on June 18 in Detroit.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“You have rocks in your bag.”

Stunned, I said, “it’s possible. I have kids.” I searched frantically through my bag that I had carefully packed that morning in hopes of getting quickly through security at the 36th District Court before court. I tried to gloss over the contraband tics tacs and pencil I had hidden at the bottom- necessities for keeping a 2-year-old silent in the court room that day. I can’t find anything. They wait, “Check another pocket.” Sure enough, there in the front, I find them. I pull out hands filled with mountain stones, Detroit River rocks, and pine cones all covered in sand that pours through my fingers. I hand them over to the security guard who doesn’t flinch as I apologize and she heads for the trash can. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Today, Know This

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Photo credit: Kit Ng

16th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 18(23) B

Proverbs 22

By Robert O. Smith

Proverbs of the elders. Received wisdom. The common sense of the ages. Men speaking to men, warning of loose women. Disjointed aphorisms, speaking against the Other, made know to us today.

Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: No Fence Can Hold

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Photo credit: Dylan van Dyke Brown

15th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 17(22)B

Song of Solomon

By Cheryl Bear

he said, oh lovely one
follow my deep, ancient footprints
you will find me
you will track me until i catch you
i will always stand up for you
you remind me of a spirited young appaloosa
no fence can hold you
you’re blinding, dazzling
like trying to look at a river
flashing with sunlight Continue reading