Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January

I have been so impressed with the strong volunteer focus of Madison and Dane County's Observence of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Ministry. I believe that MALC's Jail Ministry holds the same qualities. Our annual holiday celebration in December brought together many dedicated volunteers from differenct threads of this ministry. I also believe that the Litany of Re-Dedication we read together at the Overture Center event is a very concise statement for us for 2012. It ends with:
 
We believe that this is no time for our apathy, silence or complacency. We must work unceasingly to lift this nation that we love to a higher destiny. this is a time for our vigorous and positive action, so we pledge to lift high the banner of peace, justice, reconciliation and beloved community in our day and in this community.  
 
Another thread in this tapestry of thought is the book, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I have not read it yet, but I hope to challenge myself because I do not think it will be an easy read, but a necessary one. It is especially important here at the jail where racial imbalance is so obvious for both men and women and our task as chaplains is to bring hope and healing.
 
One more lovely prayer from poetess, Maya Angelou:
 
Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
 
Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share what we have
with those who have less.
 
And thank you for your presence
during the Holy Days, for then we are able
to celebrate you and our families
and our friends.
 
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
 
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
 
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bath them
in the river of your healing.
 
For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.
 
For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.
 
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most--Peace.