NEWSLETTER - 8/27/20
(Sent as email, Facebook post & added to the “Newsletter” page of my website)
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“I sense the urgency of the Holy Spirit, with [over] 7.5 billion humans now on the planet at the same time. Our future is either nonviolent or there is no future at all.”
Together on the shared journey…to the new world…
FROM THE EDITOR
Brought forward from the last newsletter…
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Step 1: Begin with Ourselves
We are living in a time when violence – of words and actions - seems to be the only method for dealing with issues that are larger than us and with people who are different from us. Violence gives us the illusion that we are in control; when, in fact we are out of control.
NOW is the time to embrace and begin to practice the Teacher’s life-saving, Earth-saving, relationship-building wisdom in the Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount which addressed: love of enemies, forgiveness, reconciliation, judgment, and harboring hate in our hearts. A few courageous folks who practiced this wisdom included Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
Because of this lack of nonviolent role models, we all need training in HOW to be so.
HOW we do something is as, if not more, important than WHAT we do.
We first need to take stock of our interior landscape – are there areas of hatred, mistrust or fear of some class(es) of people that we deem as less than us? From this space of getting our own house in order, we can then move to the outside. HH Dalai Lama has said that inner peace must come before outer peace. Similarly, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that our inner attitudes and states are the real sources of our problems, preceding our outward behaviors.
We need some form of contemplative practice to enable us to see in “wholes” rather than “poles.” Otherwise, we just take sides and spend all our energy defending our side and attacking the other. For me, contemplation is helping me see the “other” as “me” – and realize that at the level of soul, we are one.
We need training in nonviolence – the world of church and state has been run largely by white males, seeking power and control. They conveniently overlook Jesus’ clear teaching on nonviolence and love for enemies. Because of this bias from the top, we need to listen to different voices that show us – those at the bottom - how to think and then live nonviolently and compassionately with one another.
Source: These comments are included in recent posts on racism and nonviolence. See links below.
Time: 10-11:30 AM EDT
Register at the above link. Suggested donation: $15
Sponsored by: Illuman of Illinois
Audience: For men and women
Preparation/Watch beforehand: One Nation Under a Groove: A Tale of American Anthems | Henry Hicks III | TEDxNashville (17 min)
Ongoing until the election
Moral Monday’s: Digital March on McConnell (info & register here) JOIN ME!!!
Next: August 31 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm EDT
We call on all people of faith and conscience to join us and hold up the universal teachings of our traditions. We recall the words of the prophet Isaiah as we witness and experience these actions: “Woe unto those who legislate evil and rob the poor of their rights.”
Join us for Moral Monday’s to Stop McConnell’s Misery, Meanness and Mayhem, every Monday except Labor Day at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT. We will honor the dead and flood the phones of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to push for a full and just relief package.
FOR ALL – Education & information for addressing the systemic evils of racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy
Here are two of the resources I’ve been using to meet and learn from those affected by these ongoing injustices. For more info, refer below to recent blog posts.
Poor People’s Campaign – National website
– Nonviolence training and resources
Multicultural Solidarity – Joel Diamond
Our grassroots org has 2 kinds of group meetings, purposely in people's living rooms (Covid: Zoom):
1. Diversity/Unity Friendship/Sharing circles to build relationships across the artificial divides, while addressing issues of race, misogyny, and all the other prejudices.
2. Social Justice Teams planning for transformation of structural racism on Long Island.
Current teams are Fair Housing, Diversity in Schools, and Transportation Equity.
Racism’s Effects on our Native American Peoples
On 8//25/20 I joined a Zoom meeting that Joel organized to enable participants to meet members of several Long Island-based Native American tribes, including the Shinnecocks, and hear their stories of how they have continued to be impacted by systemic racism. This was my first introduction to the original inhabitants of this area.
Their sacred burial and ceremonial grounds are being desecrated by developers
They were forced to give up their original lands and squeezed by the government into a reservation area that’s 20% swamp land.
They lack access to adequate housing, healthcare and employment opportunities
Contact me if you'd like to check out their next pow wow.
FOR ANYONE WITH OR NEEDING A SENSE OF HUMOR
Punderdome Pun Competition – currently still virtual (check the site for updates) – next show 9/17/20
FOR FILM LOVERS
Keith Crocker’s Movie Presentations – now virtual – next free show 9/8/20
Thursday, September 10 1pm Bryant Library Charley Chase- From Silent Clown to Creative Cohort - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81540135640
NEW BLOG POSTS – FOR ALL OPEN MINDS
(& for those of us daring enough to risk getting holes in our overly-opinionated heads)
New: Many newer posts now contain links to YouTube playlists for all songs in that post. So…you can take my musical friends with you on your adventures into your own Wonderlands.
8/27/20: Music as way to discuss racial & social justice. African roots of today's music, incl. funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban. Includes the musical vibrations of Bryan Carrott.
8/18/20: Reconnecting after 40 years, I reflect on a friend's 70th trip around the sun & the ripples we've made. Playlist of 40 songs. Take the music with you as you do your own tripping around the sun.
8/13/20: Poor People's Campaign is takin' the message of ending systemic injustices to a street near you. Come join!
8/6/20: STORMS-exterior & interior call for powerful musical medicine men & women: Dylan, Dead, Tina, Stones, AC/DC...
8/2: Resources, reflections & contemplative practices to help us examine our own hearts before we judge others.