Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Episcopalians active in Holy Week

Thanks to the rise in social media, it is much easier to see what other Episcopal Churches are doing for Holy Week.

What is really exciting to me this year (and hopefully to many others) is that Holy Week for many Episcopal communities is converging on issues of social justice.

Yesterday in Washington DC, Episcopalians led a Stations of the Cross throughout the Capitol in a public call to end gun violence.  Clergy and laypersons  braved the freezing rain to give testimony to the call of non-violence so central to the mission of Jesus.

MSNBC had a wonderful article on the day, also covered by Episcopal News Service.  A picture gallery can be found on The Episcopal Diocese of Washington's website "The Way of the Cross", along with links to the actual service: 

The Way of the Cross was organized by the Bishops of Connecticut following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as a way to mourn the victims of gun violence and take a stand against violence in the world. 

Here's a picture of our current NH bishop, Rob Hirschfeld, standing alongside our former bishop, Gene Robinson, at Station #8:

Check out Episcopalians Against Gun Violence on Facebook.

Today promises to be another busy day in that the Supreme Court will take up the question of Marriage Equality.  Facebook is already "going red" is support of Marriage Equality, and many Episcopalians promise to be part of the push.

I'll admit my first reaction to the announcement that the arguments had been scheduled for March 26 & 27 was an incredulous "Seriously?" And yet as the clock has ticked down to Holy Week, it has become clear to me that the preparation happening for the work in the halls of justice is just as holy as the preparation happening in the halls of worship. I have come to see a profound synchronicity between a core value I hold as an American -- "liberty and justice for all" -- and a core value I hold as a Christian -- "love your neighbor as yourself." And I have been deeply gratified by the number of people of faith standing up and speaking out for equality -- not in spite of their faith but because of it. 

Holy Week is a call to remember what happened so long ago.  But at the same time, it is meant to inspire us to move beyond our fear, and peacefully confront those who believe that their perceived power (be it physical, monetary, emotional, or spiritual) gives them the right to dominate others. 

Today, I give thanks for those in The Episcopal Church who stand for justice and peace, and its many partners along the way.

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