Last Night

Last night I went to the peace vigil outsid of St. Gertrude’s Church up in Roger’s Park. Last night there were 1,625 registered peace vigils outside of churches, schools, on street corneres, parks. Last night at least 100 people were gathered at the corner of Glenwood and Hood. Tears were shed. The Holy Spirit was present.

Ginger, who’s son is currently in Iraq, organized the gathering, and we opened with a couple of songs and she told us her son’s story. Then the meeting was run as a quaker meeting. People spoke if moved by the spirit. One person invoked the recent Peasant revolt in China as an example of what can happen, and how the peasants did what they did at the fear of death, at least we have the bill of rights to protect our actions. Another person invoked the saints and especially the late John Paul II. Though he did not agree with all of the pontiff’s postitions, the one that was most overlooked during all the news stories surrounding his death was his ABSOLUTE horror at this war. A student from Loyola brought the sad news of the murder of Brother Roger, and invoked his name and the work of Taize as an example of living for peace and justice. After her, someone spontaneously broke into the the Taize song “Jesus, remember me/When you come into your kingdom.” 100+ voices then joined. An older lady spoke on behalf of the children who are loosing brothers and sisters in this war, and how the death of her brother during WWII forever changed her life. Some one offered a prayer for all the innocent victims in Iraq. Someone offered a prayer to the Creator to send the Sprit upon us and make us instruments of peace.

Ginger will be joining Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, TX this weekend and will be taking a letter of support signed by all present to her.

The winds of change are moving. These kind of actions will do much more than the loud protests (which have thier place), but this meeting was different in that the Spirit was present and working. We ended with this song:

Well, I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the riverside,
Down by the riverside, down by the riverside.
I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the riverside,
I’m gonna study war no more.

I ain’t gonna study war no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more.

Let me close with this verse from one of my favorite songs:

Cure Thy children’s warring madness;
Bend our pride to Thy control;
Shame our wanton, shelfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in sould.
Grant us wisdome, Grant us courage,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.

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