Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Blog Has Moved

Hi Friends,

I have moved my blog to the following web address:

Recent posts include:  The Myth of Redemptive Violence, Hope in the Face of Violence, and Light in this Present Darkness.

This blog site has been discontinued, so find me there.

Blessings and Peace in this New Year.


Monday, December 10, 2012

When the Music Plays I Just Want to Move

I stand corrected. In my last blog post I quoted some videos circulating on the Internet of these two dancers claiming that they are grandmother and grandson. In reality, this is Sarah (Paddy) Jones at age 75 and her dance teacher Nico. That was in 2009.

Still, pretty awesome. And fun.

Today Paddy is 78 and, according to Wikipedia, they are still competing at Salsa congresses around the world. After winning one competition, she said, "I'm living proof age is no barrier. When the music plays I just want to move."

Amen to that. For me, dance is a metaphor for following the leading of the Spirit. In life, as in Salsa, "When the music plays I just want to move." I do my best to follow the Lead, trusting that practice, intuition, and spontaneity will carry me through.

If I Can't Dance

Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution."  That's how I feel.  I love to dance, especially Salsa.  Dance is such a wonderful way to express bodily joy.  It's a perfect celebration of incarnation, as children of Spirit, children of Earth. 

This video of a 92-year old grandma dancing Salsa with her grandson says it all.  If I keep dancing, who knows?  With God all things are possible.  Keep dancing.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Celebrating in Ways that Bring Joy

There are many ways to celebrate the coming of the light in this dark season of the year, including the Winter Solstice, Hanukah, Kwanza, and Christmas.  Christmas is supposedly a Christian holiday, but the orgy of consumption that accompanies this holiday in the United States makes that questionable.  How ironic it is that people celebrate the birth of a poor baby born in a stable (as the story goes) by spending billions on "stuff" that will ultimately end up in overflowing landfills.  However, Christian or not, many are swept along by the dominant media message:  "Buy gifts for your loved ones to show them how much they are loved and how precious they are."  The pressure can be hard to resist.

This may not present a problem for those who practice a Christianity that is conformed to consumer culture, but for those who seek to follow Jesus it challenges us with one of his core teachings:  "You cannot serve both God and mammon." Mammon:  wealth, riches, money, stuff.   

If you haven't yet watched Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff," now is the time.  This 20 minute, easy to watch animation, will inoculate you against unrestrained consumerism during this holiday season. The sequels are also great. 

The Commercialization of Christmas challenges people of every spiritual tradition to resist cultural accommodation, practice integrity, and celebrate in ways that bring joy. I personally love going to Christmas concerts and street fairs, watching my grandkids in the Christmas pageant and the Nutcracker, singing Christmas Carols, having meals with my beautiful extended family, organizing crafts for the Sunday School children, spending an evening at Hospitality House (our local rotating homeless shelter), reaching out to a family in need, putting cedar branches and nativity scenes in our window sills, decorating a tiny living tree that we'll plant outside after Christmas.  

I plan, with God's help, to weigh my gift-giving choices well.  I hope to not find myself walking vacant-eyed down aisles of plastic toys.  

The organization "Alternatives for Simple Living" has a Treasury of Celebrations with some great ideas of ways to celebrate the different holidays, including Advent and Christmas.  Scroll down the page at their website to find out more: 

May you experience and share the true gifts of peace, joy, and love during this season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Witnessing at Beale

On October 30 I joined about 100 people for a demonstration at Beale Air Force Base calling for an end to drone warfare.  Beale is home to the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that is used to determine drone targets.  After stopping traffic onto the base for four hours, nine of us were arrested for trespassing onto federal property. 

I took this action because I am convinced that the use of drones for targeted assassinations is immoral and illegal and that their use threatens us all.  Now is the time to stop the new drone arms race in its tracks.  This act of nonviolent direct action at Beale was my way of witnessing to my hope that "another world is possible," a world based not on domination and violence, but on peace, justice, and environmental healing. My "no" of resistance is based on a "yes" of faith. 

The U.S. use of drones for extra-judicial killings is immoral and illegal under international law.  It assumes that the whole world is a battleground and that the United States has the right to inflict capital punishment without trial on whomever it has put on its "kill list."

Targeted assassinations by drones is not a clean as many people seem to think.  Many innocent people have been killed, including children.  In Pakistan, whole communities are paralyzed with fear because of ongoing drone attacks.  "Secondary kills," that is, drone strikes on rescue workers, if eyewitness reports are true, would constitute war crimes.

There are other complications to drone warfare.  Drones are sold on the open market.  Weapon manufacturers, whose sole purpose is profit, have no loyalty to any country but only to their bottom line.  Over fifty countries now have drones.  Most are currently used for surveillance, and in fact, many law enforcement departments in U.S. cities are purchasing drones for that purpose.  But drones can be equipped with weapons, and many countries already have weaponized drones.  With the United States setting the standard and leading the way, we are in danger of a drone arms race without an international legal framework for their use.

The public must become aware of the dangers of this deadly program.  We must rise up in resistance and demand that the United States propose, sign, and ratify an international treaty on drones.  Clearly, this is a tall order, especially given that the United States has not even signed the  Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.  Such an outcome can only take place if there is widespread public awakening to the multiple dangers facing us as a species, and spiritual renewal motivating us to work together for global transformation.  This will entail a rising up of people willing to work for a peoples' democracy rather than acquiescing to the current system of global corporate rule.

In the next few months, those of us who were arrested at Beale will stand trial in federal court in Sacramento.  I'm grateful to have this opportunity to witness to my conviction that another world truly is possible.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Resisting the Reign of Death

On October 30, I was one of nine people arrested at Beale Air Force Base for trespassing onto federal property in protest of the drones that are stationed there.  I'll write more about this later, but for today I want to make clear how this particular action fits in with other actions I've taken and my life overall. 

I have a long history of writing, speaking, and acting for peace, justice, and the environment.  Most recently, I have specifically focused on foreclosures, climate change, and the drone program.  What ties all these issues together?  I see them as various expressions of a global system that is working at cross-purposes with Love. 

I see my life work as preaching the gospel of peace, justice, and earth-healing in the midst of  a corporate-dominated global system that is idolatrous and violent to the core.  My book, Shaking the Gates of Hell:  Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization (, proposes a way to respond to the growing power of corporations and their domination of the worlds' cultures, governments, and global institutions.  Part I, "The Gates of Hell:  Undoing Creation," outlines the various global challenges we face today as a species, and makes the case that if we don't turn things around we face a living hell on earth of pollution, global warming, runaway technologies, poverty, inequity, violence, terror, and war.

The term "Undoing Creation" comes from theologian William Stringfellow:  "Violence describes all of the multifarious, inverted, broken, distorted and ruptured relationships characteristic of the present history of this world.  Violence is the undoing of Creation... Violence is the reign of death in this world..."

The gates of Beale, home to the global hawk drones, symbolize the gates to a hellish future.  For me, our nonviolent action there was a statement of hope for a transformed world.  Saying "no" to the Reign of Death is a way of saying "yes" to life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It Isn't Nice to Block the Doorways

On Tuesday, April 24, several of us from Occupy Nevada County joined over 2000 protestors for the mass action in San Francisco against Wells Fargo Bank during its annual shareholders’ meeting.  Peter and I helped block one of the doorways, Sandy and Billi (who is facing eviction by Wells Fargo) marched with signs, and Guari talked with passers-by and passed out Occu-cards with information about Wells Fargo. 

It had been a long time since I had actually blocked a doorway.  In the Introduction to my book, Shaking the Gates of Hell, Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization, I tell about my experiences in Seattle in late 1999, when I joined in demonstrations to shut down the meeting of the World Trade Organization, which was (and is) untouchable through normal democratic channels.  I quoted an old Malvina Reynolds’ song: 

It isn’t nice to block the doorways, it isn’t nice to go to jail.
There are nicer ways to do it, but the nice ways always fail.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice; they’ve told us once, they’ve told us twice,
But if that is freedom’s price, we don’t mind.

These days, normal democratic channels often fail when people seek redress for harm done by the big banks.  For this reason, people gathered to take nonviolent direct action to disrupt Wells Fargo’s annual shareholders meeting.  

On April 23, the day before the action, we drove to the City for a Teach-In organized by Occupy San Francisco and held in front of the Wells Fargo Bank on Montgomery Street.  We heard indebted students speak about the profits gained by Wells Fargo through the vicious cycle of student loan debt, which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy and which now amounts to more than consumer credit card debt.  We heard foreclosed homeowners speak about jumping through hoops for Wells Fargo in the loan modification process while their homes were being illegally foreclosed out from under them.  We heard from former prisoners about Wells Fargo’s investments in private prisons and immigrant detention centers, and about its lobbying to enact tough-on-crime laws.  We heard from others about Wells Fargo’s predatory lending practices, offshore tax havens, and off-balance-sheet accounting practices.   We sang songs, watched movies projected onto a portable screen, and ate a meal prepared and served by local supporters.  In addition, a Wells Fargo meeting had been cancelled, so the caterers came out and gave us the food that they had prepared for the meeting. 

The next day, my 22-year old grandson Jimmy, who lives in San Francisco, joined us for the action.   It began in Bradley Manning Plaza with an Interfaith service and blessing, in which I participated.  It was a diverse crowd, with people from faith communities, various unions, community organizations, and Occupy.  Our various contingents marched to the West Coast Wells Fargo headquarters at 465 California St.  Then we divided up and went to the various entrances.  Some of us went inside and tried to gain access to the meeting.  Others began blocking the doorways.  Both police and protestors stayed calm.

Hundreds of Wells Fargo stockholders, including many clergy, had come from around the country to challenge the bank’s practices inside the meeting.  Most were denied entry.  Only thirty got in.  Some spoke individually.  Others did a mic-check, calling on Wells Fargo to 1) end investment in private prisons, 2) give principal reduction to underwater homeowners, and 3) pay their fair share of taxes. They were handcuffed, cited, and released. 

Why did we take two days out of our very full schedules to drive to San Francisco and join this protest?  Why were we willing to go so far as to try to disrupt the shareholders meeting?  The short answer is:  We (the people) see and suffer the effects of the actions of Wells Fargo and other big banks.  We have used every approach possible within the normal channels of our current system, to no avail.  We have appealed to the banks directly, written and visited our elected officials, spent our scarce dollars on lawyers, and worked to change unjust laws, but the banks have outspent and outmaneuvered us at every turn.  They have used their political and economic power to game the system against us.  What recourse do we have?

We can attempt to enact a constitutional amendment that strips big banks and corporations of their constitutional rights by abolishing the legal fiction of corporate personhood and declaring that money is not the same as free speech.  Such an amendment would make clear that democracy is for people, not for corporations. 

This will take time.  Meanwhile, we the people do have options.  We can (and will) work within the system to bring about needed change, but when democracy fails and unelected, unaccountable, predatory, death-dealing institutions dominate social and economic policy, it is our duty to exercise our first amendment rights (not given to us by government, but our “inalienable rights,” given to us by our Creator), our rights to assemble, speak, and demonstrate our willingness to challenge the Powers that Be and to endure the consequences of our actions for the sake for the greater good.

Back in Seattle in 1999, while I was in Kings County Jail, I made up two new verses to the Malvina Reynolds song, based on my experiences of the WTO protests of the previous two days:

It isn’t nice to breathe in tear gas or be doused with pepper spray,
To be shot with rubber bullets or to hear their sound grenades.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice; we’ve told them once, we’ve told them twice,
But if that’s the price of justice, we don’t mind.

It isn’t nice to be beat up or be dragged away to jail,
To spend long hours in holding tanks or lockdown without bail.
It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice, but if that is the price
To save the earth from dying, we don’t mind.

Nonviolent direct action has a long and strong history, and has played a large (though often unreported) part in major social transformations.  When the “nice” ways fail to keep us as a species from hurtling toward disaster, some of us need to step up and be willing to pay the price for freedom, justice, peace, and a living earth.  The Occupy movement is a reminder that people really do have power, that we are responsible for the direction of society, and that there really is hope for the future if we join together in all our diversity and take nonviolent action based on the values of the world we want to see.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Occupy Faith

Last week I went to Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, my alma mater, for an Occupy Faith National Conference, a three-day gathering of people from various faith traditions who support the Occupy movement. I met people from all over the country, including New York, where the Occupy Faith movement started in response to the Occupy Wall Street encampment. We were hosted by people from the Interfaith Tent of Occupy Oakland. We visited Oscar Grant Plaza one evening and led an Interfaith service that was well-received by the people there.

I arrived at the Occupy Faith conference with a question in mind: Is there a good reason to organize a distinct group made up of people of faith to support the aims of the Occupy movement? Or is it enough to support and participate (or not) as individuals who are informed by our various faith perspectives? I am convinced that the Spirit is present in Occupy and is a motivating force in compassionate actions and in nonviolent struggles for justice wherever they may take place.

But I have come to the conclusion that organized Interfaith coalitions can make unique contributions to Occupy and to the overall movement for social, economic, and environmental justice. We can serve priestly, pastoral, and prophetic functions in ways that further the effectiveness and credibility of the movement as a whole. If these terms turn people off, let me explain:

By “priestly” I do not mean promoting religious hierarchy or favoring particular religious traditions, but rather invoking and acknowledging the presence of the holy in the struggle for a more compassionate world. At the Occupy Faith event, symbols of various faith traditions adorned the tents that were placed around the altar. A Native American woman welcomed us to the land of the Ohlone, and a Buddhist centered us with a gong to invite us into silence. A rabbi blew the shofar, a Wikkan invoked the power of the four directions, and I led us in singing the New Testament-based spiritual “Eyes on the Prize.” Not all at once, of course, but at various openings, closings, and transition points along the way. It was also acknowledged throughout that some people are “spiritual but not religious.”

By “pastoral,” I mean compassionate listening, supporting people who are struggling, and offering prayers with them and on their behalf. For instance, many Occupy groups around the country are involved in supporting people whose homes are being illegally seized by big banks. (No, people don’t just “lose” their homes as if they have to look around to find out where they went. We know where they went.) Interfaith coalitions can offer personal support and provide a place for deep listening and sharing that can help heal the shame that comes from feeling alone in such painful and unjust circumstances. Ministries with people who are oppressed by the economic system are already a part of many faith traditions, and we who are connected with Occupy are in a unique position to link such ministries with the movement for justice.

By “prophetic” I mean analyzing and interpreting current events from the perspective of different faith traditions, as an antidote to the dominant culture’s focus on the goals of instant gratification, financial success, and worldly power. Most spiritual traditions call adherents to a life of simplicity, compassion, and just dealings with our fellow human beings and all parts of creation. As we share insights we can gain new perspectives about where we are as a human family and where we need to be. And in those places where we agree our voices will be amplified as together we speak truth to power.

At the Occupy Faith conference we decided on a national action based on New York Occupy Faith’s proposal for an Economic Truth Commission. We will be working out details, but it will include the following elements: 1) The gathering of stories of individual victims and survivors of the current economic disaster and the story of how this economic disaster came about; 2) An economic truth telling bus tour to various cities to highlight these stories and their significance; and 3) A national day of action in Washington, DC on January 21, 2013, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and the third anniversary of the Citizens’ United Supreme Court decision. More will be decided as details and funding get worked out through a smaller committee we convened at the conference.

I came home thinking that there are good reasons to form an Interfaith coalition here in Nevada County so we can consider together what we can contribute uniquely to the struggle for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world at this time when people are realizing what is at stake and are rising up. I also plan to stay in touch with the Occupy Faith network, and to support our joint efforts through that network in any way I can.

Interfaith coalitions can help move us toward a way of being that leaves religious conflict behind and manifests justice and harmony in the world. It can also demonstrate, as the Occupy movement in its best moments does, that “another world is possible.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Small Victories along the Way

I’m sitting by the fire, listening to the rain in these early morning hours of prayer, meditation, and writing. A Stage Two drought has been declared in Nevada County in spite of recent rain, reminding me that climate disruption and the struggle for climate justice continues. Still, I’m grateful that we have a climate and for all the ways that weather manifests. Precious rain. Precious peace.

The work is ongoing. Last night we had a big success- Nevada City joined other cities and towns in calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood and declare that money is not speech. It was late, after 9:30, when the City Council cut off public comments and voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. Instead of the “twinkles” that had expressed appreciation throughout the meeting as people spoke, after the vote we broke into claps and cheers. Then we stood around outside in the rain celebrating, some of us even singing and dancing to AmousLou’s “Corporations Aren’t People” routine.

The City Council vote was a welcome gift, and in a way it was a gift, as if it had just fallen into our hands. We had done the footwork of organizing a coalition and of educating ourselves and others. When a previously unknown (to us) person named Charly Price submitted the resolution to the Council and we learned that it would be on this week’s agenda, we wanted to maintain our balance and focus as a group, but also respond to this new development. We strategized, put the word out through our networks and helped get about a hundred people to turn out to support the resolution. It passed. We did the footwork, but it felt like a gift.

We needed it. We need these small victories along the way. Our local Occupy Nevada County and Nevada County Move to Amend are experiencing the joys as well as the frustrations of working together. As we get to know each other, our rough edges start showing. Sometimes our goals or our personalities clash. Issues arise related to structure and process. Direct democracy isn’t easy. We have work to do in the areas of nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, and community building if we are going to be a cohesive, persistent, and vital force for creative social change.

I value each person in our group. I feel compassion for us as individual human beings and I feel honored to be getting to know people and to be sharing our struggles and hopes with each other. I am grateful for this amazing community of people, as flawed and limited and beautiful as we all are, people who see what is at stake and are willing to give so much as we travel together on this journey toward transformation and love and healing and peace. Power to the people. We are the people!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Occupy the Church

December 2011

Published in the December issue of Voices and Silences

Okay, so “Occupy the Church” sounds a bit radical.  But how else can I express how important I think it is for us as United Methodist clergywomen to support this fledgling peoples’ movement and to speak out and embody hope for the kind of radical systemic change that will make a just, peaceful, and sustainable world possible? 
            In October I spent two weeks at Occupy Wall Street in New York, and I am currently immersed in helping to lay the groundwork for our fledgling “Occupy Nevada County and to support the Occupy movement as a whole.  I don’t plan to give the details here.  You can read about my experiences in New York and my ongoing reflections at  The first blog, “Why I’m Going to Occupy Wall Street explains why I’m so involved and how it relates to my faith. Here I will relate a couple of scriptural passages to the Occupy movement today.
            Two years ago I went through a thirty-week guided intensive practice of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, through Mercy Center in Auburn, California.  As you may know, the Exercises involve employing the imagination to enter deeply into different biblical passages, to bring them to life.
            One morning in prayer I entered into the scene from Luke 19:41-44.  I walked beside Jesus as he rode on a colt on his way to Jerusalem.  Suddenly, to my dismay, he started weeping.  Then he addressed the people and it was as if he was speaking directly to me:
            “If you, even you (even you, Sharon) had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!  But now they are hidden from your eyes.  Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will build up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side.  They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
            I was stunned, shaken to the core.  I wept with Jesus, and I wept for my children and grandchildren and for the state of the world. 
I was relieved a few weeks later when I returned to that scene and Jesus (in my imagination) assured me that yes, I was starting to get it.  But I know today that I cannot rest on my laurels or take anything for granted.  Knowing the things that make for peace and recognizing God’s presence is a discernment process that requires ongoing spiritual work.
Why was Jesus weeping?  And what are the things that make for peace?  I understand it as an inner peace of mind, of conscience, as well as peace with justice in the outer world.  When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he was not just weeping for his followers, but for the larger community, for all the people.  He could see the disaster that was coming and it caused him to weep.
After this scene, Jesus went directly to the Temple, and “began to drive out those who were selling things there.”  He used the words of Jeremiah in saying that they had turned God’s house into “a den of robbers,” thus bringing to mind the prophet’s distress at the coming disaster and his critique of the prophets and priests of his day:  “You have treated the wounds of my people as if they were not serious, crying ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace.” 
Jesus’ nonviolent direct action in the temple challenged the economic system of the temple and the stability of the religious establishment’s collaboration with the Roman occupation of Jerusalem.  Note that Jesus not only drove out the people who were selling things, but he and his many followers occupied the Temple:  “Every day he was teaching in the temple,” to the dismay of the chief priests, the scribes, and the so-called leaders of the people.  At night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, but “all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.”
According to Luke, up until then the leadership had been hostile to Jesus, grumbling, ridiculing, and cross-examining him, but after this confrontation their opposition escalated and they began actively planning to kill him.  They were hampered, for a time, in their plot because “all the people were spellbound by what they heard.” 
            How are we, today’s prophets and priests, treating the wounds of God’s people?  What is the peace of Christ that we are offering?  Is it sufficient and relevant for our day?  Are we recognizing the signs of God’s visitation today?  It may be that the Occupy movement is such a visitation, a movement of Spirit rising up just in time to bring hope and transformation to the world in place of the disaster that is surely coming if we do not repent/ turn around.
            It would be easy to criticize this movement and to stand on the sidelines until we see how and whether it progresses and matures into something we can support.  But what alternatives are out there?  Most of what we hear in the mainline media and (sadly) from most of our elected representatives falls far short of what is needed.  People are finally rising up and challenging the assumptions upon which the dominant system has been built. Here is one of many articles about United Methodist involvement in the Occupy movement: /news/methodists-increasingly-involved-in-occupy-movement-61360/.
            I feel called to offer whatever gifts I can to help this peoples’ movement mature and succeed in its quest to initiate social, economic, and global transformation through the process of direct democracy, and to learn what I can in the process.  I am also challenged, as always, to maintain balance, clinging to Christ, practicing the presence of God, and trusting that I am growing in my ability to recognize the things that make for peace. 
            Sometimes I still weep when I consider the direction we are headed as a species, but more often now I am exhilarated and hopeful.  After many years of working on these issues, it’s as if people are waking up, not just to the many interrelated crises we face, but to the power we have when we join hands and work together for the common good.  It’s not time to be timid in our preaching or in our actions, so let’s offer what we can to the Occupy movement, occupy the church, and boldly proclaim and embody hope for God’s intended, compassionate future.


November 2, 2011

            I arrived home from Occupy Wall Street exhausted but exhilarated.  I was delighted to find that our fledgling Occupy Nevada County was organizing new working groups and expanding its outreach into the community.  I rested for a day or so, then got to work, writing, attending meetings, demonstrating, organizing, and speaking publicly about my time in New York. 
            A high point was a “Move to Amend” public gathering on November 9 that I had organized before I left, focused on amending the constitution to abolish corporate personhood and overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited corporate funds to flow into election campaigns.  The gathering was co-sponsored by several local groups, coordinated with national groups, and held simultaneously with over 200 similar gatherings around the country.  The campaign is ongoing (see  A great short film about this issue is “Citizens United vs. the FEC” (at
            So now, it’s back to balance, to continuing those practices that enable me to stay grounded and follow the leading of the Spirit moment by moment.  It’s challenging, with family commitments and holidays coming, deadlines for articles, and a seemingly endless array of opportunities to contribute to the growing momentum of the movement for radical political, social, and economic change. 
            Many of us have been working on various social and environmental issues for years, making connections between issues (just follow the money), but only to see the overall situation getting worse and worse.  But now, it’s as if a “Great Awakening” is taking place, with people waking up to the extremity of our situation.  The Occupy Wall Street movement has flipped a switch, turned on the light, awakened people not only to the insanity and destructiveness of the current system, but also to the “power of the people” to change the conversation and to rise up together to call for justice.  I am immersing myself in this movement, offering what I can and learning what I can.  This is no time to sit on the sidelines—there is too much at stake, by every measure.  And at last there is an energetic, grassroots, hope-filled movement made up of autonomous groups in various locales rising up spontaneously around the world.
            Working to build a strong local Occupy movement is not as exciting or dramatic as a two-week immersion experience in New York, but it seems necessary, fulfilling, and real.  What great new friends I am making.  Some I have known before, some I have not, but we are mutually engaged in community building and organizing through direct democracy in new ways. 
            I find the Occupy movement to be filled with inspiration and hope for global transformation.  I see God working through this movement in our time.  Surely the Love that brought the Universe into existence is pulling for us, drawing us into a future that is peaceful, just, and sustainable, where mutual caring replaces greed and exploitation, where global cooperation replaces systems of domination and violence, where protection of ecosystems and species replaces the degradation of the natural world.  May it be so, and may I be so fortunate as to participate in its coming.