Tag Archives: Poverty

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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Event:Join a Circle of Protection on Nov. 16: Standing For and With the Poor

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
James 2: 14-17

Friendly Hands Ministers @ FPWA 2011 Lobby Day

At 12 noon on Nov. 16,  faith, community and non-profit leaders in New York City will come together for an hour of prayer and action, in the hope of creating a “circle of protection” around Friendly Hands Ministries.

Friendly Hands is a faith-based organization founded by Latino/a clergy to serve New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood through a feeding program, job training, childcare, health care referrals and legal advocacy for immigrants.

Many of the clergy who work with Friendly Hands are Pentecostal and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to take action in their community. In addition to providing direct services the leadership of Friendly Hands has undergone faith-based advocacy training and lobbied in New York’s state capital on behalf of their community. This organization is moving from charity to justice and having a powerful impact in East Harlem.

As we pray for Friendly Hands (which depends on federal EFSP funding from FEMA for it’s feeding program), we will also pray for all the non-profits and human services agencies throughout New York City and our nation that will be directly affected by the Congressional Super Committee and appropriations processes as our lawmakers decide which federal funding to cut and which to preserve.

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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

Queering our understanding of Christian accountability to the poor

by aaron

Queers for Economic Justice, an NYC-based group of low-income queer and trans people, recently released a 3 year study on struggle, survival, and community-building among low-income queer and trans New Yorkers.

This research is super crucial!!  Please give it a read.  I think it’s especially important that they’ve collected data on the numbers of low-income queer and trans folks who have been  abused by service providers and/or refused access to social services… while at the same time *clearly* showing that these folks are HUGE assets to their communities and neighborhoods in terms of all the work they contribute to improving quality of life for EVERYONE.

Jesus <3s Pell Grants and community colleges

This piece is from the Daily Yonder, a great blog about life and politics in the rural U.S.

And yes, Jesus loves Pell Grants and community colleges because Jesus loves justice for the poor… and local, affordable higher education opportunities are a crucial, sustainable, long-term part of that justice.

King Coal: Ruling Principality and Power in West Virginia by Allen Johnson

Allen Johnson Co-Founder of Christians for the Mountains discusses the principality of “King Coal” in this God’s Politics Blog piece:

King Coal Ruling Principality and Power in West Virginia

Remember: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12