Tag Archives: Faith

Chaplaincy & the Movement to End Poverty

This blog first appeared on the Poverty Initiative Union in Dialogue Blog: A New & Unsettling Force.

Below are two pieces by Poverty Initiative leaders discussing the different contexts in which they have served as chaplains and how this work is connected to the broader movement to end Poverty.  The first is a reflection by Jennifer Wilder about her work with the Union protest chaplains who have been serving in Zuccotti (Liberty) Park for the past several weeks of Occupy Wall Street.   Jenn’s reflection is followed by an excerpt from a reflection that Union alum and Poverty Initiative leader Onleilove Alston wrote about being a chaplain over the years with the Poverty Initiative, “on the field of battle for justice.”

CHAPLAINCY IN ZUCCOTTI PARK FOR ‘OCCUPY WALL STREET’

As I focused on our prayer, I could hear the Occupation Wall Street People’s Mic start not two yards away from us.  Between my eyes half-closed, I could see a camera flash, irreverent yet commonplace at Occupation Wall Street, taking a picture of the two of us.  The lady, (lets call her Glory) who now clasped hands with me in prayer in the middle of roudy Zuccotti Park, had participated that morning in her first-ever protest, which was in Harlem opposing the stop-and-frisk protest policy.  Glory told me her own humiliating experiences of being stopped, frisked, and accused of prostitution.  Glory was pregnant with twins, and she looked forward to telling them what she had done while expecting them to prepare the way for them to have better conditions.

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A New-Old Call to Radical Christian Community!

This is a prophetic call to Christian Intentional/New Monastic communities from a fierce Christian Sister Eda Uca-Dorn who is the deacon/director of Hosanna! People’s Seminary. A first generation American of Turkish and Arab descent, she has lived in intentional communities and works on the Christian Peace Witness steering committee and Women’s Ordination Conference anti-racism team. Eda is also currently editing an anthology of Catholic Worker writing for Rose Hill Books. Her theological passions are mostly in the realm of postcolonial/anti-oppression peace and justice work. She lives in New York with her husband Mike

This article was first posted on Jesus Radicals

“Community”, “Radical Discipleship”, “Prophetic Witness”: An urgent and self-giving Christianity has taken hold of the imaginations of a new generation of the faithful. Group houses of sincere young folks earnestly desiring to live for Christ and serve the poor are springing up like daisies after a summer rain. It is humbling to witness the movement of the Spirit in their work. Yet it is mournfully apparent that the language, aims, and means of our Christian communities are often defined by a narrow contingent of the movement or what might be the movement if our communities were accountable to anti-oppression work and in solidarity with those under the foot of kyriarchy in its many forms. In fact, the voices of women, queer people, people of color, those of immigrant or non-North American status, the economically disadvantaged, and the disabled are often secondary to the voices of celebrated white heterosexual North American men. And while certainly, our God’s cause is the cause of the poor, there is something troubling about our communities rhetoric and movement “to the margins”: it is a dangerous sense of entitlement that gives some of us the notion to obtain property and create ministries and services- often while lacking training or outside accountability. Many community houses have been started without the members having first developed a meaningful relationship with the community leaders and projects already underway, without having been invited to come nor having undertaken a serious analysis of the kinds of unjustly gained power that make some service providers and others receivers of services.

For the entire post visit: A New-Old Call to Radical Christianity

Debunking the Beauty Myth and Standing Against the Sentinels

by Onleilove Alston & Kari Morris (first published on Ecumenical Women at the U.N.)

Naomi Wolf author of The Beauty Myth discusses how images fueled by consumerism are used against women.  Wolf points out that the beauty myth becomes harsher  after times of political gain for women, thus distracting us from the cause of equality. As  Ecclesiastes 1:9 states “their is nothing new under the sun” because in the Song of Songs (a.k.a. Song of Solomon) we can hear the protest of a woman who does not fit into her society’s beauty myth:

“I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. “Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me.My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.” Continue reading