On Saturday, October 17th, Agape Community joined the Interfaith Opportunities Network (ION), the New England Peace Pagoda, and others for “400 Years: Truth & Healing for the Next Seven Generations.” The event was organized by ION, and coincided with the Peace Pagoda’s “Listening to the Call of the Great Spirit” walk. Throughout the day, we listened to native testimony, engaged in land acknowledgements, honored numerous religious sites, prayed together, and joined members of the Peace Pagoda in chanting “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyo.”
We joined the walkers at the Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center and walked through Greenfield, stopping for prayers at the 2nd Congregational Church of Greenfield, the Episcopal Church of Saints James & Andrews, and Temple Israel.
A particularly shocking, disturbing, and dissonant experience unfolded when a Trump car rally blasted through Greenfield. Suddenly and unexpectedly, we found ourselves walking through the revving of engines, shouts and chants, the honking of horns, and an aggressive stream of flags. In the midst of this momentary chaos, our walking, drumming, and chanting went on.
The event ended by the Connecticut River at Unity Park in Turners Falls, the site of the 1676 massacre. At Unity Park, we listened to David Brule of the Nolumbeka Project and Sr. Clare Carter of the Peace Pagoda. John Sheldon played “The Same Water,” a song which he had played by the Agape pond at our 2017 St. Francis Day celebration, “Listening to Native Voices: Standing Rock is Everywhere.”
On Sunday, October 18th, we tuned in for the “400 Years: Truth & Healing for the Next Seven Generations” virtual event from the living room of St. Francis House at Agape.
For more information about the walk, see: https://interfaithamherst.org/400-years-walk
For more information about the digital program, including a link to the recording, see: https://interfaithamherst.org/400-years-program