The GoFundMe campaign has begun and we’ve had some money trickle in. We stand at $45 and need $800 more. We’re trying to get the show recorded at the 25th annual vigil at the School of the Americas (SOA) and we hope to be all funded by November 1. Please check out the link below and donate if you can, or pass the word along to help us out. We wholeheartedly appreciate your support.
With so much going on in America these days, it seems impossible to keep up with it much less be able to comment on it. Thankfully I found a blog entry that summed up a lot of it for me. Excellent Huffington Post blog.
The organization SOA Watch (www.soaw.org) is holding their 25th annual memorial vigil on November 21-23 at the gates of Ft. Benning in Georgia. The vigil commemorates the death of 6 Jesuit priests, their co-worker and his teenage daughter, who were massacred in El Salvador in 1989. A Congressional task force found that those responsible for it were graduates of the SOA (School of the Americas). The SOA (also known as the Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation) is a combat training camp within Ft.. Benning that trains foreign military and police officials in South and Central America. The students are trained in psychological warfare, counterinsurgency and paramilitary tactics, and enhanced interrogation techniques. These tactics are are often wrought against the populace to maintain governmental and/or corporate power.
A the host of Theology in Action, this event is exactly what we try do deal with each week—stories that meet at the intersection of spirituality and social justice. We are starting a GoFundMe campaign to fund a trip to the vigil at Ft. Benning to record the weekend events and conduct interviews with the participant about their efforts in the cause to close the school. The budget is set at $850 which covers travel (air and car), room, and production costs. The end result will be a 1-hour long show about the SOA, SOA Watch, the vigil and weekend events, including what people can do to help SOA Watch in their mission to close the school. All donors will be thanked by name on air at the end of the show in gratitude for funding the show.
Please go to www.gofundme.com/elvur4 to help fund our efforts. Thanks so much.
This is one of my favorite poems written about the attacks on the World Trade Center 13 years ago. It was written by Poet Laureate Billy Collins one year after for the first year anniversary. I used it in a church service dedicated to those victims later that month. I find it a deeply moving poem.
“The Names,” for the victims of September 11th and their survivors.
Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
Then Baxter and Calabro,
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
As droplets fell through the dark.
Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
Names slipping around a watery bend.
Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
In the morning, I walked out barefoot
Among thousands of flowers
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
And each had a name –
Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
Names written in the air
And stitched into the cloth of the day.
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
Monogram on a torn shirt,
I see you spelled out on storefront windows
And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
I say the syllables as I turn a corner –
Kelly and Lee,
Medina, Nardella, and O’Connor.
When I peer into the woods,
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
As in a puzzle concocted for children.
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
Names written in the pale sky.
Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
Names silent in stone
Or cried out behind a door.
Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
In the evening — weakening light, the last swallows.
A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds –
Vanacore and Wallace,
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart
“Theology in Action” the internet radio show about spirituality and activism, has been back on the air for the last couple of months with good results. As much as I like to hear myself talk for an hour once a week, the show is at its best when it’s a dialogue with other guests. There are many activists with different causes that come from all parts in the spiritual spectrum—from atheists to Zoroastrians. We are inviting guest activists, religious leaders, lay leaders, and others to appear on our talk show and promote your cause, rant about an injustice, or add to the various national/international conversations that need to be heard. If you are interested in being on our show, please contact me directly:
We can always accommodate interviews over the phone and Google Hangouts, so location isn’t a problem. If an important event is coming up, get in touch soon.
This is good news, but still some controversy. ONE group will be allowed to march in the parade so far. Considering the whole history of the LGBT community v. the parade organizers, it’s a good start. Let’s hope it keeps building.