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More Occupy Sacred Space

More Occupy Sacred Space


Reuters has posted reflections on the Interfaith Occupy Wall Street service in Zuccotti Park, written by Katherine Clark:

A small group of diverse religious and community leaders gathered in Zuccotti Park this past Sunday to lead an interfaith service at Occupy Wall Street. Organized by staff at the Interfaith Center of New York, we had asked the participants – representing Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh traditions…

Hindu monk Rasanath Das opened the service with a standing meditation, providing a rare moment of peace amid the clamor of surrounding mic checks, drums, chants and street noise. The meditation set the tone for an inspiring service that featured leaders from a variety of faith traditions – Rev. Dr. Traci West (United Methodist), Dr. Tejal Kaur (Sikh), Rev. Earl Kooperkamp (Episcopalian), and Annie Rawlings (Presbyterian) — each of their messages being amplified through the “human microphone.” Since real amplifiers aren’t permitted in Zuccotti Park, speakers at Occupy Wall Street to deliver their message in succinct sentences that the surrounding crowd repeats, allowing a wider audience to hear.

West read portions of the Song of Mary (“Magnificat”) and reminded us of the harmful impact that economic injustices have on women, particularly women of color. Kaur shared a story of two ideals in the Sikh faith “which are inherently American: first, to earn an honest living; second, to give back to the community.” Kooperkamp preached about anti-apartheid hero Father Michael Lapsley’s recent visit to an Occupy Faith meeting at Judson Memorial Church on nearby Washington Square and proclaimed Father Lapsley’s message to the movement: “The world is learning from the example of Occupy Wall Street; Occupy Wall Street must learn from the world.” And Rawlings offered a closing blessing, urging us to not meet evil with evil, but with compassion and courage.

Woven as a refrain throughout the service, Derrick McQueen, a Ph.D student at Union Theological Seminary on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, led the group in a simple song adapted from a sermon at a previous Occupy Wall Street interfaith service by the Rev. K Karpen of the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, also on the Upper West Side:

What should occupy your soul? What should occupy your mind? Nothing but love! Nothing but love!

It was an eclectic mix of meditation, preaching, prayer and song, with no attempts to dissolve diverse traditions into a single prophetic message.

Also, Laura Flanders of GRITtv has filmed many YouTube videos on Occupy Wall Street.

This video features The Rev. Michael Ellick of Judson Memorial Church, NYC


Odyssy Networks reports Faith Leaders to Temporarily Open Doors to Occupiers

In response to the violent eviction of demonstrators from their homes in Zuccotti Park, faith leaders from across New York have decided to provide temporary space for protesters to sleep in at night for the next 3 days.


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Occupy and the faith community

Pam Alger

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