Tag Archive for Wear Orange

It’s time we move from Windsor to Washington

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding, May 19, 2018. Ben Birchall—AP Wire; @WhiteHouse.gov

It’s been wonderful watching the world meet our Presiding Bishop. 29 million people heard Michael Curry preach, as only Michael can, on the joyous occasion of a royal marriage. I’ve enjoyed the excitement and the opportunity this event created for evangelism – for reaching out to new seekers who want some of the joy and hope we have found in Jesus. But it’s Monday morning and we’ve got work to do.

It’s time we move from Windsor to Washington, DC where “that guy from the royal wedding” will walk in prayerful vigil to the White House. As a signer of Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis, Presiding Bishop Curry has made it clear that we are about the Gospel of love, solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant and the refugee. Time is up for those who have used the Christian faith as a weapon, co-opted a message of compassion and used it to amputate away parts of the Body of Christ.

As Michael Curry moves from the wedding feast to witness at the center of power, let’s go with him. Let’s read this statement as individuals and in our congregations. Let’s mine it for wisdom and Tweet out the sentences that resonate with our experience of this time. Signing this statement took moral courage.  Let’s celebrate that our Presiding Bishop is more than a great preacher. He is a follower of Jesus and that road will never be easy.

It’s also time to send our children to school unafraid. It’s time for our cities – where children of color fear the walk to and from school – to be safe again from the threat of gun violence. There are too many schools to list, too many names of children who will never know a wedding day. #Parkland is past, and now it’s, #SantaFe. We cannot lose heart even as our hearts break.

On Saturday morning June 2nd I am speaking at the first gathering of a new branch of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence in Worcester. The State Democratic Convention happens to be meeting in Worcester and we have invited them to join us. On Sunday June 3, I will wear an orange stole as a sign that no human being should ever be a target. Wear Orange Weekend starts on June 1st — National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Bishops United Against Gun Violence is a partner in this effort. We are all weary of the cycle, but it’s more important than ever to stay with the movement, to give one another strength for this witness. Just as we keep returning to Smith and Wesson, we will continue to mark the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a black Chicago teen murdered by gun violence in 2013. Our Presiding Bishop has charged us with racial justice and reconciliation. The epidemic of gun violence highlights the intersectionality of the issues we face.

It’s time to take action on climate change – together. On Wednesday I will join Bishop Alan Gates and the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas at a joint press conference with Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Unprecedented changes to our fragile island home have brought together people of faith and science. Faith and science are the gifts that will enable us to reverse damage done and chart a course that is true to our interconnectedness with earth.

It’s Monday morning, my friends. The party is over and it’s time to get back to the sacred work of Reclaiming Jesus, standing against racism and gun violence, and advocating for the earth.

+Doug

Wear orange on June 2 because “we are human.”

Recently we celebrated Pentecost and many in our churches wore red. I was at The Church of the Nativity, Northborough that Sunday and they take this tradition seriously. I looked out at a sea of red. Red stands for the fire of the Holy Spirit and illustrates our prayer:

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.  Amen

Now I invite you to wear another color that also proclaims God’s love and a desire to renew the face of the earth. The color is orange.

Hadiya Pendleton

Hadiya Pendleton

In 2013 Hadiya Pendleton – a majorette and high school student from the south side of Chicago – was shot and killed just a week after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. Soon after this tragedy Hadiya’s childhood friends asked their classmates to commemorate Hadiya’s life – and the lives of hundreds claimed by Chicago gun violence each year – by wearing orange. Why orange? They said,

“Orange is used because hunters wear orange to warn other hunters not to shoot. By wearing orange, we are showing others that we are human and wish not to be gunned down.”

Numerous groups, including one I belong to – Bishops United Against Gun Violence – have declared June 2nd (Hadiya’s birthday) as Gun Violence Awareness Day. As a sign of solidarity “that we are human and wish not to be gunned down” are all invited to wear orange on that day. Clergy are invited to wear orange stoles on Sunday June 5th. Mine is being made now.

Gun violence is a public health crisis in our country. On average 91 Americans a day are killed due to gun violence. The stories and the statistics are staggering. Here are a few links to the facts.

Since Sandy Hook

Toddler Mortality from Gun Violence

Domestic violence

Polling

Comprehensive research website

Academic research in Preventive Medicine journal

Gun Violence Stats

And, because we are the people who wish to “renew the face of the earth,” we need to act on what we know. 5743341b83ae5Bishops United Against Gun Violence urges our cities, states and nation to adopt policies and pass legislation that will reduce the number of Americans killed and wounded by gunfire. These include common sense gun safety measures that already have the support of a majority of gun owners, such as:

  • handgun purchaser licensing
  • background checks on ALL gun purchasers
  • restrictions on gun ownership by domestic abusers
  • classification of gun trafficking as a federal crime
  • encouragement for the development of “smart gun” technology
  • federal funding of research into gun violence prevention strategies

And on June 2nd wear orange. Post your photo on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtags: #WearOrange and #Episcopal. Bear witness to the belief that our country can do better – much better – in addressing this public health crisis. Wear it because we are the Jesus Movement, because we are out to change the world from the nightmare it is for so many into the dream God has for it.

+Doug