Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I know it's not even Black Friday yet...

But it is about time to start thinking about some holiday season events!  Time can fly fast.

  • Occupy Christmas PDX 2: Along with Thanksgiving Day, December 24 and 25 are often the worst days of the year if you are unhoused, single, or a college student who cannot afford traveling back home. Last year we coordinated a home-matching program of sorts and placed several people with local Occupiers' homes.  This year it could be similar or different, but we should keep our minds on the needs.
  • Nightly Hanukkah light (hanukiyah) lighting at St. Francis Park
  • Interfaith Forums during Advent/Hanukah weeks: A series of weekly forums and conversations.  One of the forums will feature the Catholics for social justice, most likely including parishioners from St. Francis of Assisi parish.
  • Anything else?

Friday, November 16, 2012

What’s Next in Faith Based Community Organizing: A Rolling Jubilee

Occupy Faith and part­ners are launch­ing a Rolling Jubilee, a people’s bailout to help elim­i­nate debt—and make a stand in the face of our moral cri­sis of money, debt, and power. Rolling Jubilee may sig­nal an impor­tant, and long needed, shift in how we do faith-based com­mu­nity orga­niz­ing: one that might save not only the peo­ple, but also the church.

Read more

Smaller, leaner organization

Beginning today, this website is the home of the combined Interfaith Solidarity Cascadia.  We are adapting to the current reality of the organization and community needs.

Our new address is www.interfaithsolidaritycascadia.tk.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Seed for world change #16

November 11, 2012

Unfathomable as the sea, wondrously ending only to begin again, informing all creation without being exhausted, the Tao of the perfect man is spontaneous in its operation.

- Zhuangzi

Friday, November 9, 2012

#OccupyThanksgivingPDX 2 is just around the corner

This year's (second annual) Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2 will be focused on community and family, and be intentional about being a celebration that is friendlier to women and children.

It will be held in Lake Grove near Tualatin at a private residence, on Thursday, November 22, 2 to 9 p.m.  Carpool and rideshares are also arranged, as there is no direct TriMet service to the area on Thanksgiving Day.

This is a potluck; bring some food/dessert/beverages to share.  Maximum capacity for event: 40.

RSVP is requested no later than Tuesday, November 20 especially if you need a ride (otherwise you'll need to find your way there).
Rideshare board: http://pdxsis.referata.com/wiki/SIS_Rideshare_Board  
IMPORTANT: We are organizing a carpool between southeast Portland, downtown Portland, and Lake Grove, but seats are limited. If you require a carpool from Portland, please register as soon as possible.  Another carpool is available from Vancouver, Washington and North Portland.    Additional rides may be arranged to/from Bridgeport Village (76), Lake Oswego TC (35) and/or Tigard TC (12/76/78).

The nearest TriMet stop (1.5 miles)
From Beaverton TC: Stop ID 11945, 17000 Block SW 72nd Southbound
From Tualatin: Stop ID 11944, 16800 Block SW 72nd Northbound

76 runs every 30 minutes
Nearest TriMet stop with active services on Thanksgiving Day: Boones Ferry & Kerr Pkwy, 3.0 miles away. Stop ID eastbound 3127 (from Beaverton/Tigard to Lake Oswego), westbound 1220 (from Lake Oswego to Tigard/Beaverton; stop on Country Club Road). 

Tigard Transit Center is 5 miles away.

This year's Occupy Thanksgiving PDX is co-sponsored by Sisters In Strength.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seed for world change (belated) #15

Let the past go.
Should some good friend present you with material for a lovely garment, would you insult her by throwing it aside and describing the beautiful garments you had worn out in past times?
The new year has given you the fabric for a fresh start in life, why dwell upon the events which have gone, the joys, blessings and advantages of the past!
Do not tell me it is too late to be successful or happy. Do not tell me you are sick or broken in spirit, the spirit cannot be sick or broken, because it is of God.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Your invitation to #OccupyThanksgivingPDX 2

The second annual (!) Occupy Thanksgiving PDX!

This year, the theme is community and family.

It has been a year since we have left our magnificent community on the parks in downtown Portland. Whether you still are actively involved in the Occupy movement, or have already gotten tired of it and moved on, one thing is certain: we built a remarkable community that was previously unthinkable, and we all have many friends that we never made if not for Occupy Portland. This year we would like to celebrate that, and build on the authentic relationship to inspire and drive future change.

We are having this celebration this year in Lake Grove (97035) near Boones Ferry Road. If you require a carpool or be able to provide rideshare, we are setting up a rideshare board at http://pdxsis.referata.com/.

Directions will be sent out to people who will be attending during the week preceding the event. Note: There is no TriMet service nearby on holiday schedule. The nearest major transit centers are at Tualatin P&R (76 only) and Tigard TC (12, 45, 76, 78), from which you may either arrange for a ride or ride your bicycle.


Rideshare board: http://pdxsis.referata.com/wiki/SIS_Rideshare_Board

Monday, October 29, 2012

Come be part of planning Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2!

Our Lolcat...
Our Lolcat... (Photo credit: jasongraphix)
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving will be only three weeks away from this Thursday.

Building on the successful Occupy Thanksgiving PDX last year at Wallace Park (this has thus been the largest and most publicized event we put together ever), we are doing the second annual Occupy Thanksgiving PDX on Thanksgiving Day.

This year we would like to focus on being women- and children-friendly, especially those who might not have their families nearby. (Therefore it would not be a duplication of effort with another Thanksgiving Day event that may be reportedly organized by another group, that is focused solely on mass-feeding.)

The coordination and planning meeting will be held this Thursday, Nov. 1, 1:30 p.m. at Arrive Staffing Resources, 815 SW Second Ave., #510.

RSVP appreciated, flaking not accepted.
Option 1: Comment on Diaspora*** at https://joindiaspora.com/posts/2061810 if you are attending or have questions.
Option 2: Send direct message to Diaspora* http://joindiaspora.com/u/interfaithsolidaritycascadia or Twitter at http://twitter.com/occupypdxigc
Option 3: Use Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/111579552335057/
Option 4: Email http://0.mk/ca15e
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Join us on Diaspora*

We are now on Diaspora*, an open-source, community-driven, decentralized social network.

Join us at https://joindiaspora.com/u/interfaithsolidaritycascadia to stay up to date.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seeds for world change #14

#14 for October 17-21

"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."
-- Romans 12:3, New King James Version.
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A personal note from Sarah

October 17, 2012

As we -- both Interfaith Solidarity and the Occupy Movement at large -- journeyed through this past year, many things have changed.  The community that makes up the Occupy Movement seems quite different now than it once was, and most of those who were part of the original Interfaith Guild of Chaplains have moved on to other stuff as their lives took them.

I have tried hard to "revive" the stagnant organization this summer but at this point with very little progress.  Perhaps an idea to try many things at a same time was not a good idea.

Personally, I have come to reassess my involvement with the Occupy Movement in recent weeks as well.  A big part of me is disillusioned by the way this movement has gone, even though I am still hopeful that the initial impetus that brought the Occupy Wall Street into existence can and will lead to something meaningful and significant.

Many work groups and affinity groups within the movement have also experienced, like ours, a decline in membership and activities.  Simply trying to "revive" in a sense of taking the group back to a "good old day" probably won't work.

Until we build a larger membership base, and perhaps that means our future membership would be different from our original one, we probably need to downsize and focus on a few achievable goals -- as well as refocusing and refining our missions.

Although in August we have instituted a two-component structure of Interfaith Solidarity (Actions Team and Chaplains' Guild), this will be put on hold for the time being.  Instead, I would like to build a singular Interfaith Solidarity core that does both actions and chaplaincy, until such a time when these two components can be separately organized.

I would also like to reiterate here that the new combined Interfaith Solidarity is for every person of spiritual convictions from all religious traditions.  It is not necessary for you to be affiliated formally with any denomination or be ordained.  All what I ask for are a passion for justice, a big caring heart,  listening ears, an open mind ready to learn, and commitment to the spiritual truth as you understand it.

On our agenda, right now we are focusing on the Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2 and Occupy the Winter Holidays PDX (formerly Occupy Christmas PDX) in Portland.  Additionally, we are working on Occupy Worship, a new community-driven web portal and blog not just for Interfaith Solidarity here in Portland but also inviting all Protest Chaplains groups around the world to join.

We are having our next organizing meeting for Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2 on this Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.  I hope to see many of you there.

Sarah Morrigan

Monday, October 15, 2012

Next OccupyThanksgivingPDX planning meeting


Friday, 19 October 2012
7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Che Room, 1131 SE Oak St. #5, Portland, Oregon
A planning meeting for the second annual Occupy Thanksgiving PDX!

Those who are planning on attending are also encouraged to bring some food that does not require cooking or refrigeration (we only have a microwave and a mini-fridge) and/or non-alcoholic beverage.

This is open to the public. Everyone who is interested in being part of the planning is welcome.

Interfaith Solidarity is non-sectarian and non-proselytizing.

More information:
(503) 427-8269 or email via http://ur1.ca/afott

Joining Interfaith Solidarity FAQ

Symbols of various faiths
Symbols of various faiths (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We are posting this for all those who might be interested in joining us but have not quite felt confident about it.

1. What does an Occupy chaplain do?

We began what was then known as the Interfaith Guild of Chaplains (IGC) modelled after Occupy Boston's Protest Chaplains.  By the second week of Occupation, the Protest Chaplains had several autonomous chapters in major cities, including Toronto, New York, and Washington, D.C.  We were somewhat different from the Protest Chaplains in that (1) we emphasized the interfaith -- not just Christians and some "token Jews", but encompassing the diverse religious landscape, and actively reached out to many non-Christian traditions as well as Christians of many denominations; and (2) we focused on providing spiritual and pastoral support to the Occupiers rather than protesting.

Today, we have somewhat different needs from what we had back when we were at the parks.  However, we try to be good listeners (rather than good preachers) and provide both spiritual support and advocacy from a faith-based point of view.

2.  Do I have to be an ordained minister or be certified in chaplaincy to join the Interfaith Solidarity?

This is perhaps the most wide-spread misconception about us.

Even though it is helpful if you have a past or current experience in church or faith-based ministries, that is not always a requirement.

While we do not ordain people, we do not require our members to be ordained by any church.  In fact there are many spiritual traditions in which concepts of ordination and ministers, do not even exist.  So having such a requirement can be exclusionary.  If you have experiences in leading a spiritual community, teaching in churches, have attended a seminary or divinity school, etc., you are encouraged to become part of the Chaplains' Guild.  We cherish diversity and would like us to be reflective of the diverse world we are in.

Aside from chaplaincy, Interfaith Solidarity has many other areas everyone can join -- for example, the newly organizing Interfaith Solidarity Action Team (ISAT), event planning, and other outreach activities.

Therefore everyone is welcome at Interfaith Solidarity.

3.  I am not affiliated with any organized religion.

See above.  The recent study shows that the "Nones" now comprise the second largest "religious group" in the U.S.  We are also aware of Portland and Oregon's reputation as the least unchurched area in America.  If you have a passion for social justice where it intersects with your spiritual life, you are more than welcome.

4. Is Interfaith Solidarity just for Christians?


5.  I am an Evangelical Christian and sharing the Gospel is an integral part of my faith.  Can I join the Chaplains' Guild?

As a chaplain working in an interfaith setting, your work will be two-fold: (1) to provide spiritual support to anyone regardless of their spiritual or religious orientation, without proselytizing; (2) to provide spiritual support and religious services specific to your religious tradition, when requested by (or when you see a need within the community) those who desire them.

You are welcome to start, for example, a Bible study group geared towards Evangelical Christians within the community; however it would be inappropriate to go out and proselytize others.

6.  I cannot regularly attend meetings or be part of the occupation, march, etc., because of my age/disability/location.

There are many tasks that can be done off-site.  Also, we are looking for people who can provide presences in smaller towns with Occupy or similar communities, such as Gresham, Bend, and Corvallis.

7. How do I join?

First read the documents listed on the right column of this webpage, specifically, "Re-envisioning Document," "Online Consensus Procedure," "Safety Protocol," and "Basic Information and Statement of Purpose."

Then send an email to ******@*********** (click on the link to reveal the address).
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seed for world change #13

#13 for October 15-17


Dà dào zhī xíng yě, tiān xià wèi gōng; xuǎn xián yǔ néng, jiǎng xìn xiū mù; gùrén bùdú qīn qí qīn, bù dúzǐ qí zi; Shǐ lǎo yǒu suǒ zhōng, zhuàng yǒu suǒ yòng, yòu yǒu suǒ cháng; guān guǎ gū dú fèi jí zhě, jiē yǒu suǒ yǎng; nán yǒu fèn, nǚ yǒu guī; Huò è qí qì yú de yě, bùbì cáng yú jǐ; lì è qí bù chū yú shēn yě, bù bì wéi jǐ; shì gù móu bì ér bù xīng, Dào qiè luàn zéi ér bù zuò, gù wài hù ér bù bì, shì wèi dà tóng.

The World of Datong

When the Great Dao (Tao, perfect order) prevails, the world is like a Commonwealth 
State shared by all, not a dictatorship.
Virtuous, worthy, wise and capable people are chosen as leaders.
Honesty and trust are promoted, and good neighborliness cultivated.
All people respect and love their own parents and children, as well as the parents and 
children of others.
The aged are cared for until death; adults are employed in jobs that make full use of 
their abilities; and children are nourished, educated, and fostered.
Widows and widowers, orphans and the old without children, the disabled and the 
diseased are all well taken care of.
Every man and woman has an appropriate role to play in society and in the family.
They hate to see resources lying idle or cast away, yet they do not necessarily keep 
them for themselves.
They hate not to make use of their abilities, yet they do not necessarily work for their 
own self-interest.
Thus intrigues and conspiracies do not arise, and thievery and robbery do not occur;
therefore doors need never be locked.
This is the ideal world – a perfect world of equality, fraternity, harmony, welfare, and 
justice.  This is the world called "Datong."

-- Record of Rites, Book 9, by Confucius, 551 BCE.

From http://www.taousa.org/index_english.htm

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Planning for the second annual Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2!

Occupied America
Occupied America (Photo credit: FredMikeRudy)
October 11, 2012
From: Sarah Morrigan

Today apparently is the last day of Portland's dry, warm, sunny season.  Believe it or not, the holiday season is only around the corner.  Thanksgiving is only six weeks from today.

Still reeling from the eviction, Occupy Thanksgiving PDX last year brought together the community spirit as well as plenty of great food to a kind of pop-up occupation at the Wallace Park in Northwest Portland (see http://www.opdxchaplains.co.cc/2011/11/occupyportland-spiritual-life_25.html for the report-back).

We are doing it again, and hope to do it in a grand scale.  Last year's Occupy Thanksgiving PDX was pretty improvised and organized almost entirely with help of Twitter and Facebook.  Considering the concentration of Occupy energy that was still present at the time (we were doing daily GA/Spokes at the Pioneer Courthouse Square and Director Park back then -- and the Food Team was still making dinner every day!) and ready attention by the media, it was pretty easy.  This year, it seems that a solid advance planning is the way to go.

Occupy Thanksgiving PDX was started with this original vision:

We are occupying Thanksgiving Day.  
We occupy it because: 
  • This is a quintessentially American holiday, and is an important part of American cultural narratives.
  • This is also a holiday that commemorates the fact that the European colonizers began their expansive ambitions and conquest and genocide of the First Nations, in the name of "freedom" -- something this holiday tends to sugar-coat.
  • On this day, there are many -- and growing number of -- Portlanders who are unhoused and, since most of other Portlanders have a privilege of being able to stay home, take a day off, and spend time with family, they are left outside often with no place to go and nothing to eat.  We recognize this social inequity.
  • Today, Thanksgiving Day is the official beginning of the "Holiday Season," which is essentially an orgy of consumerism orchestrated by the top 1%.  Many publicly-traded big corporations count on this season, and the Fourth Quarter earnings report affects share prices significantly.  We occupy this day to reclaim the Thanksgiving as a time for community, sharing, and abundance.
-- from http://www.opdxchaplains.co.cc/2011/11/our-invitation-to-occupythanksgivingpdx.html

This year, for the second annual Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2, we would like to continue this vision.

This is our wish list for some of the "requirements" we see in order to achieve this vision better for 2012:

  • An indoor space that can be utilized for all afternoon and evening (preferably all day), since weather may be not hospitable.  We are shooting for a place we can reserve for an entire day and early evening since part of the reasons we do Occupy Thanksgiving PDX is that everything is closed and we believe that no one should be forced out to the streets in rain and wind especially on Thanksgiving Day.
  • An adequate kitchen space.  As this would again be a potluck, and we do not anticipate whole a lot of on-site cooking, it does not necessarily need to be industrial.
  • A capacity to accommodate about 50 people, with consideration that some people come and go throughout the day.
  • A good public transit and bicycle accessibility, and preferably full ADA compliance.
The first kick-off planning session will be held on Monday, October 15, at 5 p.m. at the Occupy Portland headquarters (1131 SE Oak St., Suite 5).  This also doubles as our first anniversary celebration, so you are strongly encouraged to come celebrate the founding of Interfaith Solidarity with us.

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Seed for world change #12

English: Tibetan endless knot Nederlands: Tibe...
English: Tibetan endless knot Nederlands: Tibetaanse Oneindige knoop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#12, for October 11-14

This world is verily an outer court of the Eternal, or of Eternity, and specially whatever in Time, or any temporal things or creatures, manifesteth or remindeth us of God or Eternity; for the creatures are a guide and a path unto God and Eternity.

Theologia Germanica, 50
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Seed for a world change #11

#11, for October 7-10, 2012

Relieve people in distress as speedily as you must release a fish from a dry rill. Deliver people from danger as quickly as you must free a sparrow from a tight noose. Be compassionate to orphans and relieve widows. Respect the old and help the poor.

-Yin Chih Wen (Yinzhiwen)

It's anniversary time... Monday, Oct. 15

Birthday cake
Birthday cake (Photo credit: anemoneprojectors (Peter O))
A reception to celebrate the founding of the Interfaith Solidarity (formerly the Interfaith Guild of Chaplains) one year ago, with a short introductory presentation outlining the history and missions of the Interfaith Solidarity. This event also will kick off our planning of the Occupy Thanksgiving PDX 2 and a series of holiday season events/outreach, so if you are interested in being part of the event this year, please come.

Those who are planning on attending are also encouraged to bring some food that does not require cooking or refrigeration (we only have a microwave and a mini-fridge) and/or non-alcoholic beverage.

This is free and open to the public.

Interfaith Solidarity is non-sectarian and non-proselytizing.

More information:
(503) 427-8269 or email via http://ur1.ca/afott

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/353399208086093/

About us:
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Sukkot 5773 information

Sukkahs in Jerusalem
Sukkahs in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you like our sukkah last year, and remember R. Dvorah Kolodny? Unfortunately we are not doing any special event as Interfaith Solidarity, but we encourage you to join P'nai Or for the Sukkot Hoshanah Rabbah service and potluck this Sunday, Oct. 7.

Summary: Hoshana Rabbah/Sukkot Potluck/Shemini Atzeret - (5:30 PM - 8:30 PM)

Description: 5:30 pm: Hoshana Rabbah ritual and teachings in the sukkah, with beating of willow branches. PLEASE BRING LULAVS AND WILLOW BRANCHES so everyone can join in!

6:30 pm: Potluck in the sukkah.

7:30 pm: Shemini Atzeret service with Yizkor in the sukkah, led by Rabbah D'vorah and Melissa Carpenter , with a story by Melissa. PLEASE BRING A RAINSTICK if you have one.

Location: in the sukkah!
P'nai Or of Portland
9750 SW Terwilliger Blvd
Portland, OR 97219-6531

(503) 248-4500

Transit information: Since this is Sunday there is no TriMet service.  However, Lewis & Clark College operates a free Pioneer Express shuttle bus from downtown (SW Salmon between Broadway and 6th). P'nai Or shares facilities with St. Mark Presbyterian Church, which is about a mile from the Templeton Student Center (the Pioneer Express does not stop at the Law School on weekends).

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seeds for world change #10

Note: We apologize for recent disruptions in publication schedule.

#10, for October 3-7, 2012

In order to discover the character of a people, we have only to observe what they love.
-St. Augustine of Hippo

Zǐ yuē: “Bù huàn rén zhī bù jǐ zhī, huàn bùzhī rén yě.”
Confucius said, “The good man does not grieve that other people do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety is lest he should fail to recognize theirs.”
-Analects 论语 1.16 (Xue Er 
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Occupy, now what?

Occupy Detroit
Occupy Detroit (Photo credit: Cocoloco Photography)
By Sarah Morrigan

I did not come across this article until last night, just as Occupy Portland is readying itself for its anniversary.  This piece was written shortly before our eviction from "our parks" by the Rev. David Alexander, the senior minister at the New Thought Center for Spiritual Living in Lake Oswego, and even now speaks very powerfully with a deep insight rooted both in history and spirituality.

Alexander writes:
I believe that the Occupy Movement arose from a consciousness that was "fed up" - tired and weary of the inequity of our world. Similar uprisings in the Middle East - the so called Arab Spring - arose from a similar place in consciousness, a desire to be heard, seen and validated as a being of significance in the world. This is a universal desire - something that we all want. We all have the need to be heard, seen and feel as if we matter to the world - that our presence makes a difference and that we live in a world where we are empowered and can direct our life with purpose. Whenever one wakes up to the awareness that they have been oppressed or suppressed the natural desire is "take control" to make one's presence known and felt. Once this occurs, the door opens to the next step - to take restorative action. But before restorative action can take place there must be a grounding in a greater awareness of who we really are. Without this grounding restorative action turns to reactionary and retaliation action. This is the difference between effective social change movements and ineffective ones. (Emphasis mine.)
Much has been said of Occupy and its alleged weaknesses, among which is the lack of coherent message or demands.  While the Occupy Movement has always been multi-issue, diversified, and decentralized, attempts at crafting any type of declaration (Remember the "Declaration of Occupy Portland"? Whatever happened to that?) have faltered.  The Occupy Movement generally suffers from the lack of awareness of who it really is -- and while powerful as a slogan, "We are the 99 percent" is too vague and only implies that this movement is against the One Percent, without ever telling the world what it is (or wants it to be known) for.

Alexander is certainly not alone in this assessment (even back in November 2011 when the headiness of Occupy was still in the air).  Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times columnist, also concurs:

The problem with the movement, as many other columnists have pointed out before, was that its mission was always intentionally vague. It was deliberately leaderless. It never sought to become a political party or even a label like the Tea Party... Given the way the organization — if it can be called that — was purposely open to taking all comers, the assembly lost its sense of purpose as various intramural squabbles emerged about the group’s end game... The messages had become decidedly too mixed. ("Occupy Wall Street: A Frenzy That Fizzled", Sept. 17, 2012)

Not surprisingly, the post-eviction Occupy Portland became mostly retaliatory and reactionary.  From the "Re-Occu-Fest" to "F.T.P." marches, to various "diversity of tactics" actions, the movement diverted much of its potentials, energies and money on what only appears to be an anti-police action in reaction to the pain of Nov. 12-13, 2011 event.  To many Occupiers' credit, Portland organized a couple of coordinated actions during this time, namely, Occupy The Port in December and Shut Down The Corporation F29 (Feb. 29, 2012) Action Against ALEC, as a whole the movement dwindled and dissipated over time.

We must ask ourselves again at this point what brought the Occupy movement into existence.  It was a collective frustration with the broken, dysfunctional Institution -- political and financial -- and a profound global awareness that stretched from Tunisia to Toronto to Tokyo that the world is messed up and we the people must reclaim it to rebuild it.

Alexander further writes: "But this movement becomes grounded in a deep spiritual understanding that we are all in this together - we must make a world that works for everyone." 

At the onset of the Occupy Movement we had this awareness.  Behind the slogan "We are the 99 percent," we were once an extremely diverse community as far as ideological persuasions and socioeconomic  backgrounds were concerned (not necessarily in the area of race and ethnicity, however).  Things began to unravel when this sense of solidarity and unity began to erode and infighting and factioning took their place.

The minister asks:
The Occupy Movement must now decide which type of movement it is going to be. Phase 1, frustrations over the inequalities and inequity of our systems, has come to an end. The collective attention of a nation has been obtained. The next phase is about action. Will it be restorative action that seeks to unite us in a collective consciousness of the 100% that needs to work together to build a world that works for everyone - or will it be reactionary and retaliation action that continues to divide our world into "us (99%) and them (1%)" categories that must fight each other for supremacy and control? The answer lies entirely in what type of vision the movement collectively grounds itself in. How the Occupy Movement handles itself in this transition will be the most telling aspect of its destiny. (Emphasis mine.)

As Occupy Portland is in the middle of its 52nd week, just a few days short of its anniversary, what do you think?  We need this grounding.  Our transition from the "phase one" to wherever we are now has been haphazard at best.  Occupy Year Two is a great opportunity to revisit the Occupy visions and messages -- and find a way to move forward to rebuild and restore this broken world.

The Rev. David Alexander's original article, "Occupy Movement: Phase 2: Now What?" is at http://revdavida.blogspot.com/2011/11/occupy-movement-phase-2-now-what.html

This is not an official statement or position of the Interfaith Solidarity.  Opinions are solely of their respective authors.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Interfaith Solidarity news!

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 17: A protestors carri...
PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 17: A protestors carries an 'Occupy' sign during a march though downtown Portland November 17, 2011. The Occupy Portland movement joined the nationwide N17 protests today, targeting downtown banks. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Mark your calendar: Monday, October 15

Due to the last-minute coordination and logistical issues, we will not be having a sukkah party after all, much to our sadness.  However, we are celebrating the first birthday of the Interfaith Solidarity on its actual anniversary, Monday, October 15, most likely in the evening.  Mark your calendar and stay tuned for the details.

Occupy Portland anniversary, October 6

This weekend is the big day of celebration for Occupy Portland's one-year history.  An all-day festival and march will be held at the Shemanski block of the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland, followed by a barbecue in the evening.

We are recruiting!

Like any other organization, Interfaith Solidarity is a dynamic and organic group.  People join and people leave, for a number of reasons.  New members are always welcome and help us stay vibrant and keep us from becoming a stagnant institution.

We are a nonsectarian, interfaith organization that works at the nexus of social justice movement and spirituality.  We support the activist communities in Oregon and Southwestern Washington through protest chaplaincy and advocacy that bring the voice of conscience and spiritual wisdom to the popular mass movements.

Anyone with an experience of working within their spiritual communities in various leadership or teaching capacities are encouraged to join as part of the chaplains' guild, and everyone is welcome to join the action team.

If you are interested, write to pdxinter***@******** (click on the link for the address).

Taproot suspended temporarily

Due to low attendance and difficulties finding the time that works the best, we are suspending the Taproot meetings until further notice.  This may, in the near future, be combined with a kind of regular Interfaith Solidarity meeting for discussions and/or coordination.  We are hoping to find an option that will work for a large number of people, both members and non-members alike.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seeds for a world change #8/9

For September 23-26, 2012

In the circle of the Goddess create consensus while respecting diversity of opinion. On the path of the Goddess there are many paths.

From Book of the Goddess, by Anna Livia Plurabelle.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Taproot cancelled today (Sept. 16)

The Taproot meeting today is cancelled due to scheduling issues.

Seeds for a world change #7

English: Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia...
English: Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh. (Najaf, Iraq) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For September 16-19, 2012

Justice is the essence of the people's welfare as well as the adherence to the Divine path... Justice is life and cruelty is the death of society.

-- Imam AliQisarul Jumal.

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Iris in September

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Occupy Portland anniversary open house

All Roads Lead To Wall Street

Occupy Portland celebrates the one year of the Occupy Movement this Friday at St. Francis (1131 SE Oak Street, Portland) from 5-10 p.m.

Featured speaker: Paul Cienfuegos
Live music and performances
Door prizes


Seeds for a world change #6

Seafront at Ortygia
Seafront at Ortygia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
September 12-16, 2012

Who rules in her own right is a tyrant, or yet in the right of other maids. There is but one authority and the truth alone is true. Do neither eat the bread of tyrants nor drink their drink, but offer them first to She that owns them. Do neither join in their contentions, neither be a party to one side nor to the other, for they are lawlessness.

-- Heart of Water
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Taproot time change effective immediately

Due to scheduling and attendance issues, we are changing the time of Taproot as follows effective immediately:

Wednesday: cancelled until further notice
Friday: moved to Sundays 7 p.m. starting Sept. 9.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Seeds for world change #4

Cover of "World of Your Dreams"
Cover of World of Your Dreams
For September 5-9, 2012

May your eyes shine with the light of Torah,
And your face be radiant as the brightness of the sky.
May your lips speak words of wisdom, And may the world you live in be the world of your dreams.
May you see your world created in your lifetime.
May you see your visions come to be.
May your hope touch every generation to come.
These are the prayers we have for you.

May you be blessed with understanding,
With wisdom and compassion in your heart.
May your tongue be filled with song,
And your lips sing out for justice.
These are the prayers we have for you. 

World of Your Dreams” by Debbie Friedman
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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Towards a missional approach

Cover of "Missional Renaissance: Changing...
Cover via Amazon
In book Missional Renaissance, Reggie McNeal contrasts the approaches taken by the postmodern "missional" Christians to those taken by the "traditional" church models of as recently as the megachurches and "seeker-friendly" churches of the 1990s.

In the book, McNeal points out that a missional church is not about providing religious commodity and products to the marketplace and thereby attracting consumers to become "assimilated" into a church and its own insular "Christian" subculture, but rather going out to a real world to be a blessing.  In the course of becoming a missional church, McNeal argues, that a church must become simplified, less institutionalized and less internally-focused, and rather ask itself how it can become a blessing to the communities out there, not just their own people and not just "Christians" who agree with them.

A missional approach places far less emphasis on doctrinal orthodoxy -- or for that matter, orthopraxy.  Much of what an "incarnational" (as McNeal calls this missional movement) church does is not about "proclamation, but demonstration."

Even more interesting is that this approach engages "non-Christians" in a way no conventional church ever has.  After all, most of what a missional church does to bless the world around it have a universal appeal.

Thinking of it, in retrospect, I feel that this group -- now called the Interfaith Solidarity, formerly the Interfaith Guild of Chaplains -- has also been stuck in the old paradigm even amidst the new paradigm prefigured in the Occupy movement.  In our early days we were just as obsessed with programming and attracting people to our events as the conventional churches and parachurch organizations are.  We atrophied as soon as the memory of the Occupation faded into history, just like conventional churches are often impotent and incompetent outside their walls and their constructed "Christian" subculture.

This was not what we envisioned or see it coming.

Maybe we need to start asking ourselves how we can start blessing the community -- and by community it is not just Occupy people.  How many Occupiers have thus far gone out to be a blessing to the wider community, aside from endless marching and protesting?  Maybe the Occupy movement will once again rise if Occupiers started serving the community and its most marginalized segments -- instead of being known mostly for disrupting commuter rush-hour traffic, for being beaten up by cops,  and for property destruction?

On that note, I propose that we think of ways to bless Portland in a tangible way this month of September as we celebrate the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.  This can be a series of projects that can engage many Occupiers outside the Interfaith Solidarity as well.

And importantly, you can be an atheist, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim, or anything else for that matter -- to be a blessing.

Sarah Morrigan
Interfaith Solidarity
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Seeds for a world change #3

For September 2-5, 2012

The person who is to succeed will never let his mind dwell on past mistakes. He will forgive the past in his life and in the lives of other people. If he makes a mistake he will at once forgive it. He will know that so long as he desires any good, there is nowhere in the universe anything that opposes him. God does not damn anyone or anything; man damns everyone and everything.

God does not make things by comparing His power with some other power. God knows that when He speaks it done; and if we partake of the divine nature we must know the same thing in our lives that God knows in His.

Ernest Holmes, CreativeMind and Success(1919).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The End of Compassionate Conservatism? Why Jesus and Today's GOP Don't Mix


Come to Occupy Portland Open House

To celebrate the Occupy movement's one-year anniversary (which is September 17), Occupy Portland will be holding a large open house and celebration on Friday, September 14, 5-10 p.m. at the St. Francis Park (SE 12th Avenue & Oak Street) and Dining Hall (330 SE 11th Avenue).  There will be music, barbecue, and other festivities.

Seeds for a world change #2

As a new service initiative, we are posting a short quotation from a traditional sacred texts twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, at our community altar at the Occupy Portland office.

 Seeds for a world change #2 (August 29-September 2, 2012)

Every step of progress is a step more spiritual. The great element of reform is not born of human wisdom; it draws not its life from human organizations; rather is it the crumbling away of material elements from reason, the translation of law back to its original language, Mind, and the final unity between man and God.

Mary Baker Eddy, "The People's Idea of God" (1886).