Category: Vol.28 No. 1 Winter 2019
by Suzanne Belote Shanley – The cascade of global and national catastrophes is so devastating that we hear repeatedly on newscasts phrases such as “There are no words to describe Yemen.” Nevertheless, a human rights official managed to locate a few: “Hell on earth for millions of children…starving and in jeopardy.” Wordlessness yields to words as collectively we struggle to give language to misery and innocent suffering. “Every ten minutes, a child dies in Yemen.” Imagine if we in the US heard: “Millions of American children in Boston are near starvation.” It would never happen. Why is this? What do we need to comprehend about the privilege of white, western protection from indiscriminate use of our first world bombs on other people’s children?
By Brayton Shanley – It all started in 2016 with Donald Trump’s Muslim taunting. Our Mission Council members were gathered for our winter meeting and the planning our next St. Francis Day when John Paul Marosy, one of our crew asked of our group: “What is our world going to need by the time we reach October?”
by Father Warren Savage – My mother would always say to us, do not forget where you come from. You are a child of God. Titles get in the way. We only should be introduced as children of God. We all come from a creator who does not have partiality, but who created us in love.
by Edgar Hayes – A wonderful start to the conversation of race in America–the day, music, panelists, food, attendees were all wonderful at Francis Day. Yet, it only scratched the surface. Its seedling is just bursting forth from the earth. One day, it will produce Godly abundance. For me, to keep the conversation within the realm of religious is key to its dismantling. It will never be reached pragmatically, metaphysically, existentially, and definitely not politically.
by Ruth Bass Green – The experience on October 6, at Agape will stay in my heart and mind forevermore.
I was challenged in more ways than I’d hoped
Never did I think I’d be enhanced by the sage smoke
Nor the panelist and the topics they shared
Which was no joke
by Tahirah Amatul-Wadud – As our country experiences such difficulty and we as a people are hurt by betrayal at its core, the single most important thing to me is to build and nurture ourselves and our community every way and every day that we can. It was cathartic to safely engage in an uncomfortable (at times) but intellectually stimulating (always) discussion on systemic racism at Agape. It’s good to be having this conversation.
by Maritza Cruz – Race still matters. In 2018, there are persistent social, political, and environmental inequities, and racism is only one component of the complex system of oppression. Rules and standards in our society are not race neutral.
As children of color, we learn from a very young age that racism exists. We are seen as subhuman. Immigration has been racialized; it’s about people of color being seen as “less than.” When it is black and brown or indigenous people, immigration is not okay. We indigenous people have been here and have been crossing borders for thousands of years, but we are ignored.
by Alex Mooradian – To me, what stood out at St. Francis Day was the sense of caring among the attendees. Everyone who spoke at the event, and who participated in the day as guests, shared the same desire to become more educated and involved. Not everyone shared the same life histories, backgrounds, beliefs, or baseline of knowledge. But sitting outside together, everyone shared a common passion for learning more in order to promote peace. While some may disagree on the methods, or the nuances around how to best address racial disparity, violence, oppression, and discrimination, including phenomena that affect immigrants, all present had a recognition and understanding of how important efforts toward peace truly are. That shared understanding was very unifying throughout the day. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
by Ann Rader – It was so important for there to be a white Christian voice saying- we repent, forgive us Lord, we reject the ways of the “white Christian” militarized economic system that has wreaked havoc upon your sacred people. Which has offended you. You – the Great Spirit – Jesus- God (Allah)–the Holy Spirit– who has been so painfully misrepresented, misunderstood and missed over the centuries.
Seeing Josiah and Frankie plant the tree… These are very healing moments…
Ann Rader, co-Founder of Freedom Farm with her husband, Edgar Hayes, is also a member of Agape’s Mission Council