Tag Archives: Love

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.”


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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Born on Nine Eleven (a late thought on Tucson and Egypt)

by guest blogger Chris Halverson

As has been widely noted Christina Green was born on 9/11, she was featured as a “face of hope.” That her life was bracketed by violence in such a way has some spiritual significance; it also says something to and about our present reality! I believe it says something about a whole generation born into a world that has been set on edge by violence and threats of violence their entire life. Their lives have been enveloped in the War on Terror—worry about religious radicals and dirty bombs, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, torture at Abu Ghraib, easily accessible videos of Richard Pearle’s head being hacked off, the Mumbai attacks—they have never known what it is like for America to be at peace! Having entered into young adulthood when Christina was born I can only feel an echo of what this time we live in does to the impressionable and young by these events certain cynical scaring of my own soul. Four days before the shooting in Tuscon, Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of Punjab province in Pakistan was assassinated for standing up to extremism. I felt bad for the loss of a good man, yes, but it fit into the larger story of this last decade—the triumph of violence, so I simply shrug and thought, “Violence is essential to being human. Hobbes was wrong, it is not that the state of nature is nasty brutish and short—it is that we are.” Yet, when I first received a text about the attempted assassination of Representative Giffords I was still shocked and sickened, and I thank God for that! My shock means my heart is not entirely recalcitrant to violence. And now that we know more fully what happened that day in that parking lot I am impressed by the counterweight that this particular story has to the larger story of violence Christina’s generation has lived with.

There were too many instances of people laying down their life for another—spouse shielding spouse—to ignore. I see soul force meeting physical force. I am reminded that self-sacrifice—sacrificial love—too is embedded in our soul. For the entire post visit Luthermatrix .