How much will engaging the world as a church newly committed to addressing and ending systemic racism, addressing and ending poverty bring a new vitality to our congregations, families and communities?
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Picking up the weapons of one’s enemy can be dangerous and deadly; we must take care when we encounter a religion which is still justifying the genocide of Indigenous Peoples and cultures. Why would I willingly take part in my own oppression? Why would I accept or employ methods or weapons that I don’t want used on anyone I love?
The following is a re-stating of my testimony to the Southampton Town Board, August 22, 2009. 11 years later almost to the day this same political body has finally agreed to observe a 6 month moratorium on construction, and to enact legal protocols when human remains are unearthed; which hardly resembles NYS Penal Law pertaining to cemetery desecration. Justice by its nature cannot be divine to one group while denied to another.
Feeding 5000 in a patriarchal system means feeding 5000 men; can we see what’s wrong with this snapshot of helpless disciples and their inability to act? Looking upon this humanity demands a compassionate and humane response – they need to be fed. Not counselled, not removed, not reasoned with, not dismissed, not sent empty away: Feed them. Don’t imagine the dozens of reasons as to why it can’t happen, feed them.
John’s fiery doctrinal ‘law and order’ mandating “Repent!”, come to the Jordan, be baptized, prepare for judgement – make ready for new life. In contrast, Jesus’ commitment to the ‘least of these’, water for all who thirst, and his passion for the God of Justice didn’t not appeal to those who revel in their ability to mete out provision, punishment, blessing or curse as they saw fit: religious and civil authorities covertly cooperating with occupying Romans are not interested in an egalitarian society.
Baptizing in the name of love? No, I see no evidence of love. Those “ye” delegated and charged to go forth without benefit of gold, carrying neither staff nor provisions, might have recognized the general theme of hospitality – as they were supposed to teach hospitality – but they did not recognize the significance of the spontaneous hospitality proffered them by the Indigenous People of the Americas.
this year, might we broaden our focus, and create a Memorial Day – dedicated to those now gone due to this illness, and strongly representing our commitment to caring for the living who are hurting, by caring for and remembering all those who have in these months lost their dearest loved ones, and who are grieving so deeply.
by Layton E. Williams For the past several years, the NEXT Church blog has operated on a system of recruiting monthly volunteers to curate a series of blog posts from […]