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Showing posts from November, 2011

There's Something About Mary

Invited to preach on the First Sunday of Advent at Palo Alto United Methodist Church, I offered Five Lessons of Mary of Nazareth on her Willingness to wait for the world to Change:

I.  The Annunciation (1:26-38)--"There's something about Mary" Luke's account of the Annunciation (1:26-27), tells us a number of things about Mary:  "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee with a bad reputation ("Can anything good come out of Nazareth?)
"to a  virgin named Mary," a peasant girl, probably about 13 years old, betrothed but not yet married. 
The angel "sent" from God is Gabriel, archangel and chief messenger fearsome to behold, with the announcement six months after Elizabeth (family member) becomes pregnant with John the Baptist (Jesus' older cousin?).  Mary is to be married to a man named Joseph, a direct descendant of King David.  Mary's ancestry is more complex and lowly. 

LESSON No. 1--God calls ordin…

Occupy Advent in Solidarity with the 99%

Advent is a good time to Occupy.

I have been following, participating, and blogging about the OccupyWall Street movement for several weeks now, and I am ready to recommend some specific solidarity actions during this Advent season.

I'm calling on Ministers of Shalom, designated Shalom Zones, Communities of Shalom, Belivers Without Borders, and other faith-based groups and people of good will, to find creative ways to "seek shalom in the community where you have been sent" (Jeremiah 29:7).   I'm asking you to consider one or more of the following prophetic acts of kindness, hospitality, justice and advocacy in behalf of the so-called "99 %" during Advent--in the spirit of God's Shalom:

1. Open the doors of your church, community center, or home to some Occupiers for a warm meal, hot shower, or even for an overnight rest.  Several shalom zones and prophetic churches already have done this, including Church of the Village and Judson Memorial Church in Low…

Lord, Hear Our Prayers

On this 60th day of Occupy Wall Street, protestors camping at Zuccotti Park were removed by force early this morning, many arrested, as frustration escalates. Early morning photos of Un-Occupying the Park
Direct Actions for the two-month anniversary of the movement are being organized:
Let us pray that this anti-greed and pro-economic reform movement does not turn violent.   And let us hope and pray that OccupyFaith finds new ways to support the highest ideals of OccupyWall Street and similar demonstrations around the world.

Latest News and Photos from New York Times Latest News and Photos from Los Angles Times

Does God Have Favorites?

Today is the 58th day of Occupy Wall Street, my fifth time to occupy with faith.Three worship services on Sunday is certainly enough prayer, praise and protest for one day. The Path Train from Hoboken delivered me to Christopher Street in the West Village which was an easy walk to the Church of the Village: A Progressive United Methodist Church. “Bishop J” is senior pastor (who had set up several shalom zones when he was Bishop for New Jersey Annual Conference.It was stewardship Sunday and the economic theme was “lend your heart, invest your soul, maximize your ROI.”I loved how the worship team performed a Broadway tune—“I’m into Money” complete with tap dancing and showmanship.
The gospel text was the Parable of the Talents and the Separation of the Sheep and Goats (Matt 25:14-30).District Superintendent St. Clair Samuel preached a very fine radical stewardship message on God’s ownership and our stewardship of has been entrusted to our care.“What we have is not ours,” the preacher sai…

OWS Organizers Meet with OccupyFaith Leaders

Minister Michael Ellick is a good and faithful pastor at Judson Church in Greenwich Village.  He also is a gifted and courageous community organizer.   Fully active in OWS since its inception, and contributing faith-based solidarity and support, Michael instigated OccupyFaithNYC within the first month of the movement. Michael, Eric Jackson, and several members of Judson captured national public attention on October 9 by bringing a  Golden Calf to the protest movement on Wall Street.  Michael also is a gifted community organizer, bold as well as gentle, able to speak truth to power, and also give a cup of cold water in the spirit of Jesus.  Watching him in action, whether leading a direct action on the streets or facilitating a strategy meeting at the church, his Conservative Baptist roots, Union Theological School training, and seven years of study under a Tibetan Buddhist Teacher prepared him for prophetic leadership “in such a time as this.” see PBS Feature on Michael
Last Thursday, N…

Happy 11.11.11 Day

Old Age Quote of the Day for 11.11.11 on the Gregorian calendar
 The Power of Committed Action “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”                                                                                             --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Here's a New Age reflection I received today (author unknown)
A Time…