|MARATHON OF HOPE
I am back in Arizona after a fruitful diversion to Chicago this week. On Thursday, National Executive Committee member Ellen Lindeen and her husband, Ric, hosted a dinner party in their charming Barrington, Illinois home for their parish, St. Michael's, to celebrate their commitment to the social justice ministries of EPF. St. Michael's has a robust peace and justice agenda: they support a Syrian refugee family with love, community and resources (www.refugeeone.org/stmichaels); they host an educational film series on issues of peace and justice; they invite speakers to educate the rest of their parish and the community on issues of social justice; and have social events featuring the art and music of peace and justice. Thank you, Ric and Ellen, for your leadership and hospitality, and for introducing me to your faithful Peace Partner Parish. EPF is sustained by your dedication and generous sharing of your time and talents!
On Friday, EPF's Palestine Israel Network leadership team gathered at the Cenacle Retreat in Chicago for three days of reflection and planning for the future of their important mission, and I was honored to be invited to be a part of it. We got a lot done, but the worship on Sunday was particularly memorable. Noted author and scholar Kathy Christison preached, and our liturgy was taken from "Contemporary Way of the Cross: A Liturgical Journey along the Palestinian Via Dolorosa." The service included readings from the opening and closing of the Karios Palestine Document (www.kairospalestine.ps), as well as this moving poem by exiled Guatemalan, Julia Esquivel:
They have threatened us with Resurrection
There is something here within us
which doesn’t let us sleep, which doesn’t let us rest,
which doesn’t stop pounding deep inside,
it is the silent, warm weeping
of women without their husbands,
it is the sad gaze of the children
fixed there beyond memory,
in the very pupil of our eyes
which during sleep, though closed, keep watch
with each contraction of the heart
in every awakening…
What keeps us from sleeping
is that they have threatened us with resurrection!
Because at each nightfall,
though exhausted from the endless inventory
of killings for years,
yet we continue to love life,
and do not accept their death!
Because in this marathon of Hope,
there are always others to relieve us
in bearing the courage necessary
to arrive at the goal which lies beyond death…
Accompany us then on this vigil
and you will know what it is to dream!
You will then know how marvelous it is
to live threatened with resurrection!
To dream awake,
to keep watch asleep
to live while dying
and to already know oneself resurrected!
I understand that Kathy's sermon will be posted on the EPF Palestine Israel Facebook page shortly. If you want to go deeper on current issues related to this conflict, I highly recommend that you "like" and follow that page, which is thoughtfully and regularly curated by PIN stalwart Donna Hicks. Thank you, Donna, for your commitment and devotion to getting the word out about the plight of the Palestinian people so effectively.