Photo by Ray McGovern
Jean Stokan (kneeling, second from right) of the Sisters of Mercy and Pax Christi USA joined an action at the Capitol today with several other religious leaders protesting how the Administration and Congress are ignoring the nation’s most vulnerable population. This is an excerpt from a press release put out by the National Council of Churches:
“Frustrated that their pleas to the Administration and Congress to protect funding for the nation’s most vulnerable are being ignored, nearly a dozen leaders from the faith community were arrested inside the U.S. Capitol Building on Thursday.
“Despite repeated warnings from the U.S. Capitol Police, the leaders refused to end their public prayers asking the Administration and Congress not to balance the budget on the backs of the poor…”
Just received the following report on the event from Ray McGovern:
It was a very Spirit-filled event! Rabbi Arthur Waskow is not in the photos I took, only because his knee would not let him stand any longer (he stood for a good half-hour, after walking for as long a time before). So I had privilege of walking him back to one of the benches on the side.
Then what happened was electric! When a wheelchair was rolled up, Rabbi Waskow rolled himself back into the midst of the circle AMID SPONTANEOUS APPLAUSE — first for him, it seemed….BUT THE APPLAUSE DID NOT STOP AND IT DID NOT STOP AND IT DID NOT STOP. DID I SAY IT DID NOT STOP? It was for this wonderful NEW CLOUD OF WITNESSES, INCLUDING JEAN, OF COURSE!!!
All the folks who knew, or learned, what was going on joined in the clapping, which lasted about 10 minutes (no exaggeration) and was followed by about 20 one-word verses of the a-aa-men, a-aa-men, a-amen, amen, amen. Wish I could put music in here, but hopefully you get the idea…..the great AMEN and it WAS truly great…
…as I said, a Spirit-filled event. The Spirit was with us; and we are counting on her staying around long enough to ensure that the widow, the orphan, and the refugee are not further hurt by those who have more than enough, but are not eager to share from their abundance…
THANK GOD FOR PAX CHRISTI AND “THE MERCYs!”
Forgot to mention: last I saw of Jean was as she was handcuffed and ushered out, nonviolently, the side door. In these matters, they do the women first, but still make them go out the side door. All those arrested (some 10) were taken to local police station to be “processed.” I found myself wishing I was among them. It was so good to be among them for as long as I could.