Saturday, November 30, 2013

The UK and Ireland, first woman bishop will be installed by the Anglican Church at a service in Dublin on Saturday.

Anglicans to install woman bishop
The UK and Ireland, first woman bishop will be installed by the Anglican Church at a service in Dublin on Saturday.

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-northern-ireland-25159579 >

Preparing the Way for Christ: Revs. Bingle, Darring and Lee Dialogue Advent Homily

  
How do we prepare for God’s coming into our midst? Some suggest that we establish empty and quiet places in our hearts and lives, spaces that the Christ-child may fill again on Christmas and spaces that prepare for Christ coming again to establish firmly the reign of God in peace, justice and love on this earth. The suggestion of quiet and emptiness is counter cultural as people become busier and busier in the Christmas and Holiday season. Similarly, actions that risk anything at all for peace are counter cultural. But then, Jesus is counter cultural from the start. To prepare for the coming of Christ the Scriptures for Advent 1 tell us to become people of peace and not dissension or militarism.
Our Hebrew Scriptures for  the first Sunday of Advent herald an age of peace when nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and study war no more(Isaiah 2: 1-5). Nations will come to God’s house on the highest of mountains for instruction in God’s ways so that we may “walk in God’s paths”. Clearly that instruction is instruction in the ways of peace and God’s path is the path of peace. (Is 2:3b)   The Epistle reading (Romans 13:11-14) tells us not to live in dissension-in quarreling and jealousy. Rather we should be clothed in Christ. To do this we have to become alert and awake from our sleep. To me, waking from sleep here means conscientization-to become aware of the injustice and lack of peace in our world, near and far. As near as our hearts and homes and as far as the corners of the world where terror and exploitation reign.
Rev. Gerard Darring ( http://liturgy.slu.edu/1AdvA120113/main.html ) in discussing the day’s readings from the Perspective of Justice, suggests:  Since Christ is coming at a time least expected, what if Jesus the Christ returned in 1994 when there were still nearly two and a half billion people living in countries where the annual per capita income is less than $400 or less? Or when 40,000 people died every day from hunger? Or when one fifth of the human race still do not have adequate housing? Or when billions do not have adequate medical care? Or when the neglect of the earth produced death of all sorts? What if Christ returned now ? Would we be found unprepared for the coming of the Promised One?  What do we have to do to bring the kin(g)dom of justice and peace to earth right now?
Rev. Beverly Bingle has some thoughts on being prepared:
“Over at Claver House this week the conversation turned to basketball,
and one of the guests, Matt, was talking about LeBron James of the
Miami Heat, the 6’8” kid from Akron, Ohio. On the off season, Matt
told us, LeBron works hard. He trains by running uphill in the snow.
He spends his vacation time studying every play to figure out how he
could have done better. He practices. A lot. That’s why he’s ready
when the season starts, why he’s been the NBA’s Most Valuable Player
four times. There’s a lesson there for us.
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells parables about being prepared. People
are going about their daily business. Some of them focus so much on
the details that they are not alert, not aware, not ready. Not ready
for the flood. Side by side, folks are at work, out in the fields, or
inside, grinding grain. We know it’s not the end times—some are left
behind. Jesus tells his disciples—and us—to be vigilant, be
prepared. We don’t know when salvation is coming to us. But we can
be sure we’ll miss it if we’re not ready.
We know how to be prepared in everyday life. In school we think about
the subject before class even starts; we do the homework on time; we
read extra materials when we’re on break. When the test comes—even a
pop quiz—we’re ready. We don’t just hop in a car with a Highway
Patrol officer and take the road test on our 16th birthday. We spend
time learning the rules, taking the class, practicing with a licensed
driver. Or when there’s a baby coming. We read the baby books. Talk
with family and friends who’ve been through it. We get diapers ready.
Lots of them. When the baby comes, we’re not taken by surprise.
It’s like the parable of the 10 women waiting with lamps for the
wedding feast. We know that we need to have oil in our lamps. Once
the wedding party gets there, it’s too late.
During Advent we have time to make sure it won’t be too late for each
of us. The season invites us to practice so we can be ready for
Christ to be born in us, ready for the reign of God in our world here
and now.
How did Jesus get ready for the crowds, the healing, the mission? He
went off and prayed. He watched what was going on, and thought about
it, and took action. He listened, and he even changed his mind,
putting justice and compassion ahead of his own ethnic prejudices,
like when he listened to the Syrophoenician woman pleading for healing for
her daughter, and he yielded to her pleas. That’s how we can do it:
we know the way—Jesus has shown us. We just have to practice.
Now it’s true that LeBron James is a multimillionaire. He donates a
lot of money to the Boys & Girls Club and the Children’s Defense Fund.
He established the LeBron James Family Foundation, that holds
bike-a-thon in Akron every year to raise money for various causes. He
does a lot of good.
But we don’t have to be athletes, or public figures, or even wealthy
people to do good. LeBron is doing basketball right, and he’s doing
philanthropy right, but that’s not our job. Our job is getting
Christianity right. And our impact can be even greater. Our actions
can bring the reign of God to life, here and now, for everyone we
meet. We can change the world.
So let’s get ready. This Advent, let’s each of us pick one thing to
practice our Christianity on. Like setting aside some extra prayer
time. Like actively listening to someone. Like smiling at strangers.
Even smiling at friends and family, which can be a lot harder.
In the next four weeks, we’ll be putting together the decorations and
the gifts and the tree and the feast. We’ll be getting ready for
Christmas. As we do that—that everyday stuff, that holiday stuff—we
can practice being Christian—welcoming Emmanuel—God-with-us—in
everything we do and everyone we meet”.
We’ll be ready.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
www.holyspirittoledo.org
Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor
And, I add, there are some of us who have the courage to be activists for peace-who take the swords into plowshares scriptures more literally.  Rev. Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip were the sainted leaders of the Plowshares Movement for non-violent action for peace.  In the early 1980′s now ARCWP woman priest Judy Beaumont then a Benedictine Sister, participated in a “Plowshares Action” called Trident Nein” to demonstrate the immorality of Trident submarines. The price of one of those could wipe out poverty in large sections of the USA or the world. She was imprisoned for several months for this crime. During her time in prison she worked on prison reform for women. Later she wrote”Prison Witness: Exposing the Injustice” in Swords into Plowshares: Non Violent Direct Action For Disarmament” edited by Arthur J. Laffin and Anne Montgomery (Harper and Row,Publishers, 1987).   Currently there are several wonderful activists, including ARCWP woman priest Janice Sevre-Dusynska,(support person) who participate in Plowshares Now and have risked breaking laws and standing trial for peace. They stand for peace and against activities like drone warfare where, in the name of all of us in the USA many thousands of innocents are killed.   Rev.Janice is currently on a year’s probation in which she cannot participate in another “illegal” action for peace.  This is a hard sentence for those who get it, something like bridling John the Baptist.  Others who have courageously acted against nuclear stockpiling with Plowshares Now here in the USA at the Oakdale Nuclear Reservation in Tennessee including elderly Religious Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed  await trial and probably severe prison sentences. It is not easy to take this kind of stand for peace, and we are thankful for those who are doing so and keep them in our prayers especially during Advent.
For ourselves, we can study how our nation is currently making war and support those candidates and leaders who truly are peacemakers. In our own lives we can be peacemakers, turning away from malicious gossip and tensions that divide families and communities and the people of God and those who serve the people of God. We can support Pope Francis in his pleas for peace and for priority on the poor while turning away from the ways in which those in power in the church and in the governments represent the interests of the rich and powerful, and embody them.   We can embody peace, tolerance and radical love in all that we do and say. That is enough challenge for this advent season. Even so, Come Christ Jesus, Come. As Rev. Bingle says “we will be ready”.
Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWIMG_0079P
 Rev. Judy Beaumont, ARCWP   (standing in back row) with Rev. Judy Lee and members
 of the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
Fort Myers, Florida

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"The Latest from Pope Francis on Women" by Maureen Fiedler

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/latest-pope-francis-women

Pope Francis says, "...The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion."
This seems to be a new way of saying that because Jesus was male, the priest must be male. That argument has been answered so many times, it seems redundant to say it. But "imaging Jesus" is not a question of gender. To make the maleness of Jesus a controlling element in imaging him is to confuse Jesus' maleness, which is incidental, with his humanity, which is fundamental to his redemptive role. And the spousal imagery is just that: imagery. Moreover, to say that only males may image Jesus sacralizes masculinity.Pope Francis does have a noteworthy point on one thing: The priesthood is for service, not for power. Too often, these are entangled and confused."
Bridget Mary's Response:
As Christians we are baptized into Christ. As Paul states, there is neither Jew, nor Greek, male or female, all are one in Christ Jesus." Galations 3:28
Hence, Christians are baptized into Christ's humanity and divinity. We are the body of Christ. Women and men both image Christ by their baptism. Thus, male and female priests as well as the entire assembly gathered in worship image Christ in sacramental celebrations.
  No image can be taken literally, metaphors simply give a glimpse into the Mystery of God. Spousal imagery reflects the passionate, intimate love of God for each of us and all of us, and is not reserved to either gender." I agree that Pope Francis makes an important point that the priesthood is not about power or domination, but about service to the people of God.
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp
www.arcwp.org

Homily of First Sunday of Advent by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP

http://judyabl.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/preparing-the-way-for-christ-revs-bingle-darring-and-lee-dialogue-advent-1/
Over at Claver House this week the conversation turned to basketball,
and one of the guests, Matt, was talking about LeBron James of the
Miami Heat, the 6’8” kid from Akron, Ohio. On the off season, Matt
told us, LeBron works hard. He trains by running uphill in the snow.
He spends his vacation time studying every play to figure out how he
could have done better. He practices. A lot. That’s why he’s ready
when the season starts, why he’s been the NBA’s Most Valuable Player
four times. There’s a lesson there for us.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells parables about being prepared. People
are going about their daily business. Some of them focus so much on
the details that they are not alert, not aware, not ready. Not ready
for the flood. Side by side, folks are at work, out in the fields, or
inside, grinding grain. We know it’s not the end times—some are left
behind. Jesus tells his disciples—and us—to be vigilant, be
prepared. We don’t know when salvation is coming to us. But we can
be sure we’ll miss it if we’re not ready.

We know how to be prepared in everyday life. In school we think about
the subject before class even starts; we do the homework on time; we
read extra materials when we’re on break. When the test comes—even a
pop quiz—we’re ready. We don’t just hop in a car with a Highway
Patrol officer and take the road test on our 16th birthday. We spend
time learning the rules, taking the class, practicing with a licensed
driver. Or when there’s a baby coming. We read the baby books. Talk
with family and friends who’ve been through it. We get diapers ready.
Lots of them. When the baby comes, we’re not taken by surprise.

It’s like the parable of the 10 women waiting with lamps for the
wedding feast. We know that we need to have oil in our lamps. Once
the wedding party gets there, it’s too late.

During Advent we have time to make sure it won’t be too late for each
of us. The season invites us to practice so we can be ready for
Christ to be born in us, ready for the reign of God in our world here
and now.

How did Jesus get ready for the crowds, the healing, the mission? He
went off and prayed. He watched what was going on, and thought about
it, and took action. He listened, and he even changed his mind,
putting justice and compassion ahead of his own ethnic prejudices,
like when he listened to the SyroPhonecian woman pleading for healing for
her daughter, and he yielded to her pleas. That’s how we can do it:
we know the way—Jesus has shown us. We just have to practice.

Now it’s true that LeBron James is a multimillionaire. He donates a
lot of money to the Boys & Girls Club and the Children's Defense Fund.
He established the LeBron James Family Foundation, that holds
bike-a-thon in Akron every year to raise money for various causes. He
does a lot of good.

But we don’t have to be athletes, or public figures, or even wealthy
people to do good. LeBron is doing basketball right, and he’s doing
philanthropy right, but that’s not our job. Our job is getting
Christianity right. And our impact can be even greater. Our actions
can bring the reign of God to life, here and now, for everyone we
meet. We can change the world.

So let’s get ready. This Advent, let’s each of us pick one thing to
practice our Christianity on. Like setting aside some extra prayer
time. Like actively listening to someone. Like smiling at strangers.
Even smiling at friends and family, which can be a lot harder.

In the next four weeks, we’ll be putting together the decorations and
the gifts and the tree and the feast. We’ll be getting ready for
Christmas. As we do that—that everyday stuff, that holiday stuff—we
can practice being Christian—welcoming Emmanuel—God-with-us—in
everything we do and everyone we meet.

We’ll be ready.

--
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Mass at 2086 Brookdale (Interfaith Chapel):
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Mass at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor
419-727-1774

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Media Response to “Evangelii Gaudium” and the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church

Release date: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Contact:  Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min. (Media), 859-684-4247, rhythmsofthedance@gmail.com
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004, sofiabmm@aol.com
 
 
In “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel) Pope Francis rightly criticizes economic injustice and global inequality but fails to recognize the full equality of women in the church as a serious justice issue.  Presently, decision-making is tied to Ordination. Does Pope Francis intend to change church law and open the top jobs in the Vatican and elsewhere in the church to women?  That would be progress, a major step in the right direction.
 
Until women are ordained as priests by the institutional church, they will not be partners and equals in the Catholic Church.  Jesus chose women as disciples and equals in the Gospel. The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala, not to Peter, and called her to be the apostle to the apostles. Therefore, Pope Francis and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church should follow Jesus’ example of Gospel equality. For 1200 years, women were ordained in the Catholic Church. Now the church is blessed with women priests who are serving inclusive faith communities where all are welcome to receive the sacraments.
 
As we approach Human Rights Day on December 10th, we remind our brother priests at the Vatican that the failure to recognize women's equal rights in the church contributes to oppression and violence toward women in our world community.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel) Pope Rejects Women's Ordination, But Opens Door to Women In Decision-Making Roles in Church

It is my hope that Pope Francis's promotion of economic justice for the poor and oppressed, expressed so eloquently in "Evangelii Gaudium" will expand to include justice for women in all ministries in the church, including ordination. Only then will women attain their dignity as equal images of the Divine in our own spiritual home. The full equality of women in the church is the voice of God in our time. Women's equality in the church is a justice issue that will not go away because women priests are living Gospel equality now.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
www.arcwp.org
sofiabmm@aol.com

"Evangelii Gaudium"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/pope-francis-evangelii-gaudium_n_4342964.html
104. "Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded. The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general. It must be remembered that when we speak of sacramental power “we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness”.[73] The ministerial priesthood is one means employed by Jesus for the service of his people, yet our great dignity derives from baptism, which is accessible to all. The configuration of the priest to Christ the head – namely, as the principal source of grace – does not imply an exaltation which would set him above others. In the Church, functions “do not favour the superiority of some vis-à-vis the others”.[74] Indeed, a woman, Mary, is more important than the bishops. Even when the function of ministerial priesthood is considered “hierarchical”, it must be remembered that “it is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ’s members”.[75] Its key and axis is not power understood as domination, but the power to administer the sacrament of the Eucharist; this is the origin of its authority, which is always a service to God’s people. This presents a great challenge for pastors and theologians, who are in a position to recognize more fully what this entails with regard to the possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church’s life. "
Bridget Mary's Response:
Pope Francis, in his new pastoral exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel) appears to open the door to women in more decision making roles in the church. Presently, decision making is tied to Ordination.  Does Pope Francis intend to change church law and open the top jobs in the Vatican and elsewhere in the church to women? That would be progress, a major step in the right direction.
In Evangelii Gaudium", Pope Francis rightly criticizes economic in justice and global inequality, but fails to recognize the full equality of women in the church as a serious justice issue. Until women are ordained as priests by the institutional church, they will not be partners and equals in the Catholic Church. Jesus chose women as disciples and equals in the Gospel. The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala, not to Peter, and called her to be the apostle to the apostles. Therefore, Pope Francis and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church should follow Jesus' example of Gospel equality. For 1200 years, women were ordained in the Catholic Church. Now the church is blessed with women priests who are serving the inclusive faith communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments.
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests at June 2013 Ordination in Falls Church, Va.
 
Judy Lee, ARCWP ministers to youth in Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community,
Ft. Myers, Fl.





Pope Francis Calls capitalism " a new tyranny", urges economic justice to fight poverty

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/pope-francis-evangelii-gaudium_n_4342964.html
"Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny", urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.
The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.
In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the "idolatry of money" and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and healthcare".
He also called on rich people to share their wealth. "Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills," Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.
"How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?"
The pope said renewal of the Church could not be put off and said the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy "also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion".
"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he wrote...."

Monday, November 25, 2013

"What It’s All About-Living the Sacraments with the Living Sacrament of God’s People" by Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP

http://judyabl.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/what-its-all-about-living-the-sacraments-with-the-living-sacrament-of-gods-people/
Image
Some of Our Children Gathering For Church-Happy To Be In God’s House
The children hurried in to the church. They were early and after greeting us warmly asked me “Pastor, can you come into the room with us?” “The room” is their Sunday School room and as we had a little time, I went. Each one grabbed her favorite item,tambourine included, and started singing: “Jesus Loves Me”.  I sang with them and told them they were right,Jesus did love them very much and I do too! They asked help to start little art projects and settled down freeing me to vest. Well, almost. Donnie ran up to me and hugged me with her usual joy, she told me about a fall she had and asked prayers for herself and her husband who was recently hospitalized. Another mother arrived with her family and we talked quietly about her grief for a hospitalized and seriously ill young adult child. She asked me to meet with the family after church and join them at the bedside later. Tania arrived smiling broadly and thanked Pastor Judy B and me for shepherding her all day Friday. We signed her out of the psychiatric hospital where she had spent over ten days “getting herself back”, as she said, with the help of medications. We were with her until, surmounting many problems almost miraculously, she got an apartment, with her electricity turned on and a bed top sleep on. She wanted to tell the church that God did not abandon her and will not abandon them. Nancy came with the baby we baptized now walking and everyone was so glad to see her. Our member Judy Alves, a retired lawyer arrived with the hot meal and got it ready for serving after church. Dr. Joe Cudjoe helped her, and his wife Pearl and I talked about her Junior class. Some of our old friends returned today. Hank Tessandori began the hymn as we vested. The 40 or so chairs were soon filled and we were ready to begin,  Several new homeless people joined us and were warmly welcomed.
The sacrament of the church, the people of God, prepared to meet the sacrament of Christ with us, the body of Christ  becoming the body of Christ. They came in joy and sorrow, in exhaustion and in expectation. And we, the priests, the pastors, the women God has called for this job were once again humbled beyond words and in awe of Christ with us.  The songs were sung with enthusiasm. The prayers were said and the readings were proclaimed. Our High School senior, Natasha, has become an excellent lector. The homily was given with time for the people to join in. Mr. Gary, our elder, had lost a son to violence last week and shared how his faith was what got him through this. For him, and for Tania and Tim and Nate who spoke Christ is not only their shepherd king who showed us how to serve one another, but a best friend who is always there with and for them.  Our time of intercession included prayers that wrenched from the hearts of those who were hurting and sprang from the lips of the faithful. Our hearts stirred as our six year old Joelle prayed fervently for a sick relative and as Nate prayed “to God, our Mother and Father” for Mr. Gary’s grieving family and all of our sick members. Dr. Joe prayed for peace in the troubled places of the world and Hank prayed for the healing of the church.
As Pastor Judy B. prepared us for the Eucharist she welcomed each one there to the Table and explained the significance of the water, ourselves, in the wine-one with Christ. Once again as we served communion we were in awe of the transformation of ourselves and our people through and into the body and blood of Christ in service to one another and the world. I cannot describe the holiness of these moments, experienced at each Eucharist. And the people sang with all their hearts, “Thank you , God, thank you God, we just want to than you God. Eucharist!
After the final hymn we asked our teens Keeron and Keeondra and also Robert an older gentleman to stand for a birthday blessing and to receive gifts from the congregation.  Shy but delighted they beamed as we sang “May the good Lord bless you…”.
Image

Then the church was transformed into a dining room and our second eucharistic meal was served and gratefully received.
As the meal was served about ten other homeless and hungry individuals joined us. And here we had the miracle of the loaves and fishes. We would not have had enough food for the last ten people but Judy Alves’ husband, Jim Pelstring ,saw the need and hurried to buy enough to meet the need. All were fed and there were leftovers to take away!
Image














I mingled with  our members and with several more new guests arriving.
Image

Image

Old friends and new friends
After Sunday School I met with our dear family who faced the critical illness of their young member.  We talked and shared feelings that had been pent up. We held hands and prayed. Later we joined them at the bedside in the hospital where seven family members gathered. All prayed as we anointed with blessed oil and prayed with this young person who rallied with this healing rite, and love. As there was already a baptism scheduled and missed because of illness, we all decided to go ahead and baptize then and there.  All present took part.  I cannot describe for you the peace and joy that supplanted the fear, anxiety and grief-words are not sufficient. The gloom was literally lifted like a dark cloud rising and light and joy replaced it. We sang, “Take Me To The River To Be Baptized” adding a stanza-”This one is the righteous and shall see God!”  We ended with “Oh Happy Day” and much closeness and love.
Three Sacraments in one Sunday-Eucharist and eucharist; the healing rite and baptism. No, five, the sacrament of the church, the people of God, and the sacrament of love included. How blessed are we. How amazed and moved we are to be called to this priesthood, the priesthood of all believers. How thankful Judy B and I are for the privilege of serving God’s holy people. Thanks be to God! Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community,
Fort Myers, Florida

Sojourner Truth on "Women's human rights"

“If women want rights more than they got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.”
–Sojourner Truth, abolitionist, died, November 26, 1883

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Peacemakers from all over U.S. at SOA Vigil, Women Priests-led Liturgy, Homily by Ed Kinane

by Janice Sevre-Duszynska, arcwp

Peacemakers from across the country and world gathered on Ft. Benning Road this weekend Nov. 22-24 for the SOA Watch Vigil.

Photos by Bob Watkins


Representing our ARCWP community with the Progressive Catholic Coalition were Kay Akers, Katy Zatsick, Diane Doughtery, Barbara Ann Duff and
Janice Sevre-Duszynska. Jack Wentland and from WOC were also at the PCC Table. Peg Bowen helped design the theme of harvest abundance of our Loving God.
Roy Bourgeois was honored on Friday night Nov. 22. Thirty years ago he and a few friends took part in an action outside the barracks at the U.S. Army School of the Americas. Wearing an Oscar Romero shirt and army pants, Roy scaled a 30 foot tree with a boom box. When he was ordered down, he turned it on and it played Romero's last homily ordering soldiers to obey the law of God and remember "Thou shall not kill." Over the years the movement grew and 300 people crossed the line. Altogether they have spent 100 years in prison to close the SOA.
On Saturday night over 350 gathered for the inclusive Liturgy of the Beatitudes led by ARCWP women priests.


 The liturgy was provided by ARCWP priest Mary Theresa Streck and written by her late husband and Jan Phillips. Ann Tiffany and Ed Kinane of Syracuse, New York read the Gospel of the Beatitudes.  Ed Kinane gave a powerful homily about how justice comes before peace. Folksinger Charlie King provided music and song. 

Katy Zatsick, ARCWP, Priest co-presides at SOA Vigil Liturgy
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests: (left to right:
Barbara Duff, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, and Katy Zatsick_
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
(left to right)
Barbara Duff, Janice Sevre Duszynska, Katy Zatsick, Diane Dougherty
and Jack Wentland, priest

ARCWP Priest Diane Dougherty participates in Puppista Program at SOA Vigil

On Sunday the solemn procession remembering those who have suffered and died took place on Ft. Benning Rd., with peacemakers carrying white crosses and singing "Presente" to the spirits of our Latin American sisters and brothers who have been tortured and killed by those trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas. Today the SOA is also training drone pilots.

Homily by Ed Kinane:

let me begin by expressing
my immense respect for the
essential and courageous path
janice and other women priests are taking.

and my immense respect for father roy
for aiding and abetting that path.

both janice and roy -- and the beatitudes
which ann and i have just read embody
what our movement here at ft. benning
is all about.

back in the day,
back in my parochial school days,
reciting and memorizing those beatitudes
were part of the curriculum.

i know now that the key legacy
of my catholic upbringing was its
frequent emphasis on conscience --
rendered poetically in these beatitudes.

conscience has been for me a rudder
in a morally bewildering world,
the beacon of my activism.

so, let us just reflect on several
of those beatitudes this evening.
                            ***

blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

tomorrow as thousands of our voices
are raised hundreds of times
in the cry of "presente"
we'll mourn the loss -- the wholesale loss
-- of life in latin america.

this loss has been perpetrated by
graduates of the school of the americas.

as we respond "presente,"
we gain strength from our unanimity
and from our sorrow.
                                ***

blessed are those
who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.

here let me invoke the tens of thousands
of us who over the years
have come to protest
at the gates of ft. benning.

many of us do so repeatedly, faithfully,
with a kind of relentless persistence.

and are we not rewarded
with that rich satisfaction
of community and solidarity?

and with the knowledge that
over the years this heinous
school  of the americas
has been severely jolted and
seriously thrown off its arrogant
imperial stride.
                                    ***

blessed are the peacemakers
for they shall be called
children of god.

we all come to the gates of Benning
to live and spread and install
and perpetuate peace.

another way to say
we are peacemakers is to say
we are anti-militarists.

in fact i prefer to call myself an anti-militarist
instead of the more positive-sounding
peacemaker.

too often, it seems, the quest for peace
can become a substitute for
the quest for justice.

the quest for peace can be a distraction,
or even a subversion
of the quest for justice.

...now, about peacemakers,
or better, peace and justice makers
being called "children of god":

for me, if that three-letter syllable
"god" refers to the creative --
or maybe even the female,
generative power of the universe --
then aren't those striving for justice and peace
all sisters and brothers --
that is, children of god?

but aren't we even more fully
children of god insofar as,
in our work for peace and justice,
we strive to include ALL life
in our divine sibling hood?

to be more concrete about it,
for me that means no more
U.S. EXCEPTIONALISM,
no more prioritizing our wants and whims
over the needs of others --
whether in honduras or colombia,
or in all nations terrorized by the
christian crusader weaponized drones:
iraq, afghanistan, northwest pakistan,
or yemen or somalia.

a U.S. life,
we must come to believe,
is no more valuable,
no more sacred than a
latin american life
or a muslim life.
                                                ***

blessed are those who are
persecuted for righteousness sake.

this last of our beatitude sample
seems tailor-made
for those arrested crossing the line at benning.

while our persecution is negligible
compared to that of latin americans,
our "court witness"
and our "prison witness"
count as persecution
for righteousness sake.

decades ago we parochial school students
would sometimes be told that
"the blood of the martyrs is the
seed of the church."

of course, we've seen how
roy's several years in prison
and the many years of prison time
of soa watch prisoners of conscience
have been the motor behind the
growth of soa watch.
                                                        ***
before closing i want mention
another anti-militarism struggle
some of us here are also involved in:
exposing the war crimes of U.S. reaper drones,
those killer robots terrorizing the oil lands of the east.
 
our regional group – upstate drone action --
focuses on the reaper drone crimes in afghanistan and elsewhere
originating at hanock air base outside syracuse, new york.
at hancock the nonviolent, protracted, court-witnessing,
prison-witnessing soa watch campaign here at benning
is our template.
 
it is our way of exposing and impeding the imperium.
so far at hancock we’ve had over 150 arrests.
we’ve had our trials...and jailings...and our persistent corps
of people of faith and conscience.
 
for me the beatitudes are alive and shimmering
in our resistance to both hancock and benning.
 
 
ed kinane
23 november 2013
progressive catholic coalition
soaw annual convergence, ballroom C
columbus, georgia convention center