When Great Trees Fall
by Maya Angelou
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
― Maya Angelou
Excerpted and dedicated to Great Soul Friends of Agape who have died.
Daily Trials in Haiti
by Nancy James
Haiti is once again in disruption through street gangs and road blocks, shutting the country down all last week. Steve and I drove alone from Port au Prince, after picking up our truck at the Nissan dealer/mechanic, spending $4,000 for repairs. We stalled twice on our trip back needing to be pushed from behind to pop the clutch to get it going again. It was completely dark as we got over and down the mountain, driving on fumes until right before Limbe. We found another friend who sold and stored gallons of fuel at his house!
Nancy and Steve James are Agape co-founders and missionaries in Haiti for over 36 years
Servant Song and Abortion
We wish to bring up a question that always arises when we read Servant Song. You justly decry wide-spread apathy toward children in jeopardy when you write: “We struggle to give language to misery and innocent suffering.” Yet you never raise your voice in defense of innocent human life in the womb.
Three thousand unborn children are killed by elected abortion daily, 43 million in the United States since 1973. Not only are the innocent killed, but women are harmed emotionally and physically. Can you raise your voices in defense of the most innocent and vulnerable? Could we have a civil discourse on this issue?
Kathryn and Robert Swegart, Rome ME
Agape’s response: We at Agape don’t write consistently on abortion in Servant Song, yet we oppose abortion on the grounds of ahimsa, non-injury in thought, word and deed. We are grateful for the challenge.
We have a chapter on abortion and pro-life feminism in Loving Life on the Margins. As nonviolent Christians, we embrace reverence for life at all of its stages, including opposition to abortion, the death penalty, and war. A consistent life ethic includes violence inflicted on the environment and all living creatures.
We invite our readers to engage in inter-community dialogue on abortion. Please send comments to Agape.
I never throw away copies of “Servant Song” and ponder over articles, i.e., summer/fall 2018, especially the Vision statement of the Elder-Spirit group. At 81 years old, I am working to “keep the fire burning”.
I empathized with your discerning Agape’s future, a prophetic and needed witness to our world. I take a sabbatical in spring in the Arizona desert for solitude and to unencumber my soul. Changes are all about us. We find our peace in the enduring love of our God. With fond memories and grateful prayers.
Sister Antonelle Chunka, an old friend of Brayton and Suzanne, a Felician sister, has been ministering to immigrants and prisoners for over 40 years in New Jersey