Last night the first freeze came to Oak View. Fortunately we’d covered the fruit trees, the salad greens were frosty, but the last of the tomatoes and tomatillos are now done. The big winds over the last week have finally subsided, and it’s chilly and clear–winter in southern California. Yesterday four Christian “biker gypsies” rode by as we happened to be outside, and we struck up a conversation. We ended up spending the afternoon talking about faith and following the radical gospel; we fed them and secured them a place to camp, they reminded us to trust the Spirit for all things.
Thanks to our buddy Ric Hudgens in Chicago, here is a link to the audio of a sermon Elaine and I gave at the closing worship of the 25th anniversary Congress of Christian Peacemaker Teams in October. This 33 minute reflection asserts that only a mystical connection to the God of Exodus can sustain our long term activism; we offer it to you here in memory of Tom Fox and the CPT hostage crisis six years ago.
In that vein, we hope you will look for our friend James Loney’s account of that ordeal(Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq and the Struggle for a World without War) coming out inpaperback from Vintage Canada this coming April. As I wrote in a blurb for the book: “Jim Loney is one of the toughest and most gentle prophets on behalf of justice and peace in North America today, an amazing blend of idealist and realist. His kidnapping as part of a Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq in 2005 represented a watershed moment for those experimenting with a nonviolent presence in warzones, and the profound lessons he draws in this book are deeply personal and political. An epic and exemplary story.”
The Occupy movement continues, and I want to draw attention to several recent pieces that provide illumination.
Social commentator William Greider wrote a piece last week in The Nation in which he calls for debt-forgiveness as the only solution to the financial crisis. Significantly for those of us promoting Sabbath Economics, Greider invokes the biblical Jubilee tradition as part of his rationale for radical structural change! This is an important reflection; long but I highly recommend it.
An old journalist friend Colin Tong from Seattle just published an online piece on how Christian churches are responding to the Occupy movement, citing me and others; you can view it here.
And colleague Bert Newton from our Pasadena Mennonite Church wrote a nice little opinion piece for the local Pasadena Weekly about why he’s participating.
Meantime, as Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church in New York chooses to arrest Occupiers who have been camping out on their vacant property, friends at the LA Catholic Worker were arrested last week along with the Occupiers who were ousted from downtown Los Angeles. May we pay attention to these prophetic voices!
Finally, do check out our webinar on Posadas sin Fronteras on Dec 13th; register just below this posting on the front page of this site. We wish you Advent blessings.