Abolition Rally-End Modern Day Slavery

This coming Wednesday, March 25th, 7-9pm @ Mill Creek Foursquare Church, there is a human trafficking rally. I will be attending, helping with some info and also playing my song about sex slavery. The more the better, so come if you can and bring some friends. This is an issue that still so few people know anything about… and it happens in our own backyards. We need to raise more awareness about the fact that there are more slaves in the world right now than any other time in history… about 27 million… and over half are children. Let’s make a difference and become a new abolitionist!! Here is a link to the event: abolition-rally-seattle. Also check out www.onevoicetoendslavery.com
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Quote of the Day

“The heroes are not the ones advocating for the poor and helping the homeless. We are not the heroes. We are just doing what should be done. We are just taking care of what needs to be taken care of. The real heroes are those who by all reason, should have given up long ago, and yet, they have not. They continue to go on, refusing to give up. When they keep getting kicked in the teeth, keep getting knocked down, and they somehow get back up and keep on. These are the real heroes!” –Tim Harris, Real Change (paraphrase)

Lenten Reflections: Lenten Prayer for Justice, Mercy & Humility

Here is a short blog and prayer I found on the Sojourners blog that I wanted to repost.  It helps us to focus on what is important, especially during this Lenten season.  Please read and let the prayer be your prayer as you reflect on your own life this Lenten season and how to more effectively live out justice, mercy and humility.  Also check out the link to Micah’s Challenge and how you can participate.  

 

A Lenten Prayer for Justice, Mercy, and Humility

by Brian Swarts 03-04-2009

The season of Lent reminds us of the renewal that came through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Lent is a time to prepare for the coming of Easter and to celebrate the gift of redemption.  Lent is also a time to search for ways we can be part of God’s work of redemption and renewal in our world.

As we search for those things that need renewal here and now, we find the global economic crisis gives us a serious issue to reflect on.  I believe that we have momentous opportunity in America, where the Spirit is calling us to greater leadership on global poverty and injustice in a time of turmoil.  As the global economic crisis increases the number of people vulnerable to extreme poverty, hunger, and disease, it is increasingly urgent for Christians to serve as informed and effective advocates for the poor and the marginalized.  While each of us is hurt by hard times, it is the people around the world living on less than $1/day, facing hunger, thirst, and illness, who bear the greatest burden of this crisis.

That’s why, during this Lenten season, we are inviting Christians around the nation to pray for those who have been hardest hit by the global crisis.  In prayer, you will be joining “Micah Challenge” campaigns in numerous countries—from Great Britain to Rwanda—who have all committed to pray.  Sometime over the next two months gather your family, friends, and church members together in praying our Prayer for Justice, Mercy, and Humility:

Prayer for Justice, Mercy, and Humility

Lord, hear our prayer:

Today we face the season of our redemption during a time of global crisis.

During this season teach us to understand the love that drove you to give up everything to save us all.

Give us the strength that only comes in weakness;

The renewal that only comes through death and resurrection.

Today many of us feel weakened, burdened, and overwhelmed by the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead.

We ask that your strength be made perfect in our time of weakness.

While each of us is hurt by hard times, it is the people around the world living on less than $1/day, facing hunger, thirst, and illness, who bear the greatest burden of this crisis.

Just as your weakest hour proved to be the most generous, most life-giving moment in history,

We pray for that out of our own weakness comes a generosity of justice, mercy, and humility for those who bear burdens greater than our own.

Help us to remember that you are the God who, out of nothing, made everything.

The God who still has the power today to remake us.

So let us be remade, not overcome, by our global crisis;

Let us be purified, and not laid low, by injustice, greed, and inequality.

Let us commit ourselves to:

Act justly,
Love mercy,
And walk humbly with you, and with all those
who suffer or want.

This is our moment to change the world.

Because it is at our moment of crisis where your strength and your light, revealed to the world by our faith, become a force that is stronger than fear or death.

Today, move us to become the answer to our prayers.

Give us the strength to respond, in our own time of need, to the needs of those who have the least in our world.

Lead us to be your agents of hope and renewal during this season of redemption.

For it is only in You that we have
the power to change things;
It is only because of You that we have
the promise of renewal;
And yet is through us that You seek to do all these things.

Amen.

Ways to “Be the Answer” to This Prayer:

  1. Educate your community, church, or campus about the issues facing the impoverished and marginalized in our world.
  2. Advocate for the U.S. to lead other rich nations in pledging emergency aid to the most impoverished nations at the G20 meeting in April.
  3. Join thousands of other Christians praying for justice in Washington, D.C., for the culmination of our Lenten campaign, at the Sojourners Mobilization to End Poverty, April 26-29.


Brian Swarts is the National Coordinator of Micah Challenge USA, a global campaign to make transforming cultures of poverty and injustice integral to the mission of every Christian and church

Quote of the Day

“If one had taken what is necessary to cover one’s needs and had left the rest to those who are in need, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, no one would be in need.” 

– Saint Basil,
fourth century theologian and monastic

the story of nickelsville (prologue)

i have been wanting to blog about the story of Nickelsville, a homeless community in Seattle that has decided to take matters into their own hands to correct their situations.  I have been involved a little during the process and my good friend Dustin has become one of their biggest, non-homeless advocates, spending most of his days with them, even to the point of being arrested with a group of them.  so, i will write soon about the story… the events that have taken place over the last week or so and some of my thoughts on the situation and how we are involved in helping them out!  stay tuned for that blog coming soon!  In the meantime, here is a synopsis of what Nickelsville is all about!

 

WHAT IS NICKELSVILLE?

Nickelsville is a permanent homeless shantytown in Seattle WA which will accommodate up to 1,000 people. Nickolodeons (Nickelsville’s residents) will live in permanent structures (not tents) and will not have to move every few months. Emphasis will be on safe and sanitary conditions.

WHY NICKELSVILLE?

This year’s one night count showed an increase of 15% in the number of homeless people sleeping outside. Sleeping outside is dangerous; unfortunately there are not enough indoor shelters. There is safety in numbers, there is power in being organized.

WHY THE NAME NICKELSVILLE?

Mayor Nickels’s edict to systematically drive people out of their encampments and to destroy their property was the trigger for the present crisis. It is only befitting that our shantytown be named in honor of Mayor Nickels and his “humane” treatment of the homeless.

WHO?

Anyone who is homeless, willing to take charge of their living conditions, participate in a community and follow some basic rules is welcome to Nickelsville,

WHAT STANDARDS?

Houseless people are neither better nor worst than housed people. Resident of Nickelsville will be held to the same standards as those of any civilized neighborhood. Nothing more, nothing less

Displace Me!

banditocoffin
Well it has been a week since me and my wife slept outside in a cardboard coffin for two with about 4500-5000 other people at Magnuson Park in Seattle. As you probably read before in my other post about this, we displaced ourselves from our homes for Invisible Children’s nationwide ‘Displace Me’ event to help bring more awareness to those in dire need in Northern Uganda. It was quite a night!
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On Notice!

on notice!
So I decided to copy my friend Matt and post my own ‘On Notice’ blog, so hopefully this goes over OK and I don’t get anyone wanting to sue me! So here goes my own first ‘On Notice’:
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