Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No support is too small!

Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...Image via Wikipedia
One of the things I learned from the evangelical Christians many many years ago was how they put a lot of importance on "intercessory prayer."

No missionary would even consider going out even on a short mission trip without first having recruited a team (sometimes hundreds!) of people who pledge to pray for them on a regular basis. One sermon that I have heard on this topic quoted from Exodus 17:11 - the story in which Moses, aged and fragile, sat atop a hill overlooking a battleground. Down there, an army of the Israelites was fighting. Interestingly, the Israelites prevailed in battle when Moses' hand was up; whenever he lowered his hand because of fatigue, the army began to lose. Eventually a couple of men stood besides Moses and held his hand up until the Israelites gained the ultimate victory.

The war metaphor aside, the moral of the story is that in order to make things successful, it takes both people on the ground -- some of us who are on site -- as well as those who are off site in the supportive capacities. And on a more spiritual side, none of what we do succeeds unless we unite in a common intention. So even when you feel like you are "doing nothing" you are doing a lot to support our team.

Any prayers, good intentions, etc., are of great importance to us first and foremost.

Secondly, there are many ways you can contribute to this work.  Every day more and more Occupiers are beginning to appreciate the spiritual presence and space in #OccupyPortland.  If you can bring a ritual or a small celebration from your religious tradition, that is great!  And there are many (mostly small things) that we are always in need of (see the wish list here) in order to make things work smoothly.  On a more practical level, the site lacks much of the amenities we often take for granted.  Water and electricity are in short supply.  Someone needs to literally fetch the water every half an hour or so, and generators are only available to some of the key functions of the camp, such as the Medical and the Media.  Even someone who can bring an airpot of coffee for our events and meetings, or those who can provide us with solar-powered lantern would be highly prized here.  Also, Sarah is the only on-site resident chaplain at the moment and is making her cell phone available for afterhour contacts.  While her phone has a great rate (7 cents a minute/7 cents per text) that has been coming out of her own pocket and extra calls and text messages mean extra expenses to her.  If you have a plan for shopping at a mall or a supermarket, consider contributing towards the phone expense (Radio Shack takes cash payments from any person so long as you know the phone number, 503-890-7724, and the carrier, Virgin Mobile; also, any "PayLo" card sold at Fred Meyer or Safeway works with the account.).

Remember: This is a community effort, just like the rest of the #OccupyPortland movement is.


Sarah Morrigan
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