Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#OccupyPortland Spiritual Life Newsletter, Oct. 26, 2011

Ofrenda del dia de los muertos 6Image via Wikipedia

The Interfaith Guild of Chaplains
Twitter @OccupyPDXigc; hashtag #ChaplainsOccupyPDX
(revised edition: Oct. 27, 2011 - 6:30 p.m.)

A little note from Sarah: Mic check! It has been quite a week here at the Occupation!  Things are changing and moved around, all kinds of things are happening, our community is still growing and is about to expand to the Pearl District, and yes, it is surely getting cold all of sudden!  We are at the epicenter of all the interesting things that make history.  Here at the IGC, we too are rapidly growing -- and learning!  Now we have 14 active chaplains on our team, which means one new chaplain every day on average since we began.  While we are a very diverse, ragtag bunch of people with different beliefs, practices and experiences, what unite us are our solidarity with the Occupy movement and our own discontent or dissatisfaction with the religious institutions at large to a varying extent.  So feel free to talk to us and join us for many different things we are putting together.  We now have a new and improved armband -- a yellow one with a blue stripe and a heart <3 symbol (which was adopted for being a neutral symbol so as not to privilege one religious tradition over the others). 

Peace out,
IGC on-site coordinator

1. Upcoming Services This Week:

Saturday evening 7 p.m.: Havdalah service -- a Jewish ceremony of ending a shabbat and starting a new week, with a lighting of special (braided) candles.  Songs are part of this celebration.  Usually observed in a household, this short ceremony wishes participants a good week (shavuah tov).  At the Sacred Space (the sukkah), in Camp Beta North.

Sunday, Oct. 30, noon: A moment of meditation and reflection, followed by a Protestant holy communion service (an open communion-open to all who desire).  Location: Sacred Space Area

Sunday afternoon 3 p.m.: Ecumenical/interfaith worship service.  This week it will be at the Schrunk Plaza the Sacred Space Area.

Monday evening 6 p.m.: Remembering death and giving thanks to life that sustains us: This evening will be a Goddess-centered, eclectic and multicultural celebration of Tamala, Samhain, and el Dia de los Muertos, to remember those who died for justice and freedom, those who died because of the system of oppression and greed, and those who have gone before us who are the sources of our wisdom and inspiration.  In observance of this night, which ancient Celts have believed is the night when the "thin place" between the material world and the otherworld is the thinnest, we also clear the spiritual fields of this current world, and invite the spirit of love into our world.  Location TBA.

2. Community Events of Interest (not sponsored by the IGC):

Friday, Oct. 28, noon-1:30 p.m.: "This Land is Your Land" Free Pink Martini and Storm Large concert at Pioneer Courthouse Square in support of #OccupyPortland, at the Pioneer Courthouse Square.  Speeches by local clergy including Rabbi Emanuel Rose, the Very Rev. William Lupfer, the Rev. Bill Sinkford, Pastor Lynne Smouse-Lopez, Imam Mikal Shabazz, as well as by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, AFL-CIO state president Tom Chamberlain, and Kathleen Saadat.

Saturday, Oct. 29, 7-9 p.m.: Bhutanese Buddhist healing ritual led by Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 147 NW 19th Avenue. (Free.)

3. Volunteers:
  • The #OccupyPortland Guanyin Temple is under construction and is in need of volunteers with construction and/or handy-people skills.  Talk to Freya Joy (the lady with Quantum kitten on her shoulder).
  • The Community Sukkah is being soon renovated into a stronger and more weatherized structure. Those who can help, contact SaraHope or Kernel (Moses).
4. Requests:
  • We are always in search for more team members who can add to the diversity of our chaplaincy. Specifically, we would like to see at least one Imam, as well as a Roman Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox priest who can properly consecrate the Eucharistic elements for those who come from the sacramental traditions.  Contact Sarah at 503-427-8269 or through Facebook/Twitter direct message, or with this online email form.
  • We are compiling a list of local (mostly downtown area) resources for spiritual life.  The list would include local church services, masses (Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican/Episcopal), minyanim, Islamic prayers, Zen sessions, Quaker meetings, as well as other useful information such as nearby vegan restaurants, kosher food outlets, and markets that sell halal meat.  Contact Sarah (see above) with any information you know.  Thanks.
  • Our latest wish list is here:
5. Upcoming events on the horizon:
  • A community forum on peace and nonviolence
  • Women's spirituality discussion and sharing group
  • Queer spiritual life support
  • Meditation sessions
  • More ideas? Talk to Sarah or any other chaplain on site.
6.  The up-to-date events and other listings are now online.  Look for the calendar at the bottom of any webpage at or see

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