Soulforce Alert #3 for USCCB 2004 Action in Washington, D.C.

Alert #3: 11/12/04

Dear Soulforce volunteers:

We are just a few days away from our time together in Washington, D.C. We are really excited about the focus of this year’s campaign to reach the hearts and minds of the members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our vigils across the country in eleven different cities were a wonderful success, and we are in ongoing dialogue with at least 3 new bishops coming off of those planned vigils. I have to acknowledge that the results were way beyond my expectations. And I am so grateful for all the prayers and work that went into making this happen.

The forecast for D.C. couldn’t be better – temperatures will be from a low of 37 to a high of 58, sunny days, with no forecasted wind factors. But despite that I recommen you bring hats, gloves, and long underwear as are vigils will be early morning and late night and it can get pretty chilly.

If you have room in your bag, consider bringing a blanket to leave for our homeless neighbors. Check the website, one last time to be sure to be up to date on final changes to our plans. Also use that time on the website to pull up the Pledge to Non-Violence and go over those vows.

In the vein of spiritual preparation , I include one of my favorite meditations:

By Eugene Blake

Gracious & loving God,

you continue to call at our homes, school, and places of labor,

Daily you pass under our sycamore tree saying,

“Come down, for today I must abide at your house,”

Like Zacchaeus, may we have the courage to journey with you

into new hope & joyful service.

May we come down from the safe places of

ideology, theology and academics.

May we come down from the defensive notions of

race, creed, color, orientation, gender and class.

May we come down from the dividing lines of denominations & sects.

May we come down from the anguish & failures of the past.

May we come down & live in the aliveness of possibility

and not in the despair of human liability.

May we come down and no longer view our service to others

from the safe distances of false human security.

And when we have come down to walk with you and one another,

grant us salvation in our serving,

blessing in our generosity to others,

and peace at the end of our journey.

Shine the light of grace & forgiveness into the dark & unseen corners

of our hearts.

May we make room for you.

May your spirit find in each of us a resting place.