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Occupy Chaplains Seattle Mission: To be a faith based voice in the Puget Sound region, echoing the calls for economic and social justices as expressed by Occupy Wall Street. To support the spiritual well-being and peaceful protest of the Occupy Movement in and around the Seattle area. To bridge the faith communities and Occupy Seattle.
Occupy Chaplains Interfaith Meeting 11/28/2011 Roughly 200 people in attendance at University Temple Methodist Church (Seattle, WA). Three questions kicked off the meeting:
How many of you know exactly what Occupy is all about?
About 6 hands went up in response.
2. How many of you have no clue what Occupy is all about? About 15-20 hands went up. 3. How many of you think everything is OK in our country, and no major changes are needed…? No hands went up .
Stating the Obvious We all agree that some major changes are necessary.
Pre-contemplation: We have a problem (whether we recognize it or not) and have no intention of making changes.
2. Contemplation: We recognize a problem and are seriously thinking about making changes.
3. Preparation for Action: We recognize a problem exists and we intend to make changes soon.
4. Action: Enacting a consistent positive change
5. Maintenance: Maintaining that positive change
Visible Occupy demonstrations help to shift awareness from the 1 st to 2 nd stages The momentum of increasing awareness inspires people towards the 3 rd stage People come together as their preparations become actions With time and dedication, we affect positive change in our world
Occupy as Awakening “ The [Occupy] movement has been more effective than the Church in lifting up the moral failings of greed, economic injustice, and consumerism… By occupying physical spaces, they have helped these topics occupy conversations, media, and politics.” ~ Rev. Michael Denton, conference minister for the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. “ The Occupy movement is the ultimate human call to live up to our better selves.” ~ Rev. Marian Stewart, pastor at Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church “ The Occupy movement is calling into question why more and more people are suffering, without jobs, hungry, and losing their homes. This is not the kind of society that I believe is healthy, nor is it the vision of God’s kingdom that is described in the gospels.” Alice Woldt, co-director of the Faith Action Network and former executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle and Washington Association of Churches
Assisting to move and clean up after the Occupy encampment
Engaging faith communities in discussion around Occupy
Encouraging people to discussion and action
Facilitating yoga, meditation, prayer, and other activities
Getting to know and be known as Chaplains in the Occupy community
A Bit of Explanation You may find yourself thinking, “But I still don’t really know what Occupy is all about. I don’t know if I agree with it...” That’s a good place to be – contemplating. I can’t tell you for sure what Occupy is about, but I can tell you that I think it’s about Justice . It’s about setting the expectation with each other that corruption and greed will no longer be tolerated as the norm in our society. It’s about recognizing that our inherent value as human beings isn’t tied to our net worth. It’s about shifting from competition to cooperation.
Easy Ways to Support Occupy Transfer your money from a bank to a credit union. Host a community discussion about Occupy – you don’t have to know all about it, just talk about your thoughts, and listen to others share their thoughts. Include thoughts of love, compassion, and equal justice for all in your prayers and meditations.
References Occupy World Map Rogers, Simon. guardian.co.uk, Retreived Tuesday 18 October 2011 09.20 EDT http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/oct/18/occupy-protests-map-world Stages of Change, Transtheoretical Model http://chcr.umich.edu/how_we_do_it/health_theories/healththeories5/chcr_document_view “ Occupy as Awakening” Quotes Tong, Collin . In Occupy movement, religion and politics mix. (December 6, 2011). http://crosscut.com/2011/12/06/religion/21628/In-Occupy-movement,-religion-and-politics-mix/?pagejump=1 Meditating Officer Photo http://www.antraeus.com/apps/blog/show/9763374-where-do-we-go-from-here-occupy-and-awaken