Today, I literally woke up wondering where I was going to park this morning. Parking is important in Seattle. Governed by tickets and permissions and prices and parallels. It is definitely a privilege. Even in the small neighborhoods where one would expect parking to be free, it is controlled by permissions and length of time. Two hours? Four hours? Red lines on curbs, yellow lines.
This seems like a stupid thing to spend my energy on. Especially when my primary energy expulsion should be on preparing for my training class. And yet, there it is.
It must be so hard to be folks that cannot afford parking.
In Kirkland, WA, there is a program called the "Safe Parking Program" at Lake Washington UMC. They open their parking lot for homeless people who have cars (i.e. living in their cars) so they can park in the parking lot. LWUMC takes it a step beyond just opening the parking lot. They open their building for bathroom use, kitchen use, and whatnot. What would it look like if we opened all our empty spaces and allowed those who have need to be there?
In Tukwila, WA, there is a new tent city encampment whose name I cannot remember. It is a small group of 25 homeless folks who stay together, in community, and have standards and such. They are allowed to stay on faith community property for 3 months. They don't take up much room. They were at Riverton Park UMC for three months until they had to move. No church would take them in. So they are squatting on public property. A private property owner is stepping in and will allow them to camp for a while in their backyard. But again. No faith community would take them in. I think I want to do some real shaming here. Does that make me a bad person?
Again, what would it look like if we opened all our empty spaces?
...Opened our parking
...Opened our buildings
...Opened our hearts
Because surely our hearts are empty if we cannot find space for people to put a tent without harassment.
Announcement: I will be unplugged on vacation next week. I will publish Sundays prayer and pray for everyone to keep the focus countries in their prayers all week long!
Reminder: the Synchroblog event, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, will be occurring on September 24 at The Bardo Group Beguines. Along with live events and a Peacemakers for Change event in Tukwila, WA. Put it on your calendars!
Today's practice brings us a tear-jerking musical story from Andy Conway, a poem from Angelique Palmer, wisdom from Ghandi, and a photo from Karim Corban at flickr. Along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition. And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out). Our prayers for this week focus on countries in the Carribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--sigh.
Invisible by Andy Conway
Homelessness Feels Like Angelique Palmer
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up.
Focus countries: The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for
- The Caribbean Council of Churches and all Faith Communities
- Warm seas and idyllic beaches.
- Calypso, reggae, plena, merengue, salsa, and all the new rhythms being created in these lands.
- Pepperpot stew, cou-cou, bananas, sweet potatoes, conch.
- Patois, Creole, Srana, Bajan and other languages which fill these islands with meaning.
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for
- Political stability and ethical, honest leadership from those in power.
- Improved economic status for all peoples.
- An end to exploitation and oppression based on race, religion or rank.
- Faith community leadership, ecumenism, and tolerance.
- Improved health for all.
- Those affected by hurricanes and floods.
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.