Sometime in the 1880s a part of my father’s family landed in New York City from Germany and moved to Utica, New York. A bit later, my great aunt, IE (I never knew her formal name), worked in the laundry room of the Utica Insane Asylum (its name then). She lost an arm in a wringer performing the one job she could find. When economic times are difficult many people get caught in the wringer and pay larger prices than others.
This Saturday, November 12th, a group of us from First UMC of Boulder are heading to Occupy Denver. We will participate in the march in the morning, have conversation at Racine’s at noon and attend the general assembly in the afternoon.
I have a number of reasons for heading to Occupy Denver:
1. It seems to me that the “Aunt IE’s” of today are organizing all over the world and I want to see what is going on in Denver.
2. A New York friend, Sheila Collins, says when you watch the Occupy Wall Street community in New York City, “… you realize that this is a living organism, creating and recreating itself. Like all living cells it has a boundary and yet is permeable. It is constantly in motion, continually changing, yet remains the same. Sometimes, amoeba-like, the cell splits into two, or four or more, sending these new cells.” Some of these cells have arrived in Denver. What can we learn from them? How can we be supportive?
3. A pastor friend of mine, Rev. K. Karpen, took his daughter to Occupy Wall Street. Why? He quotes Deuteronomy 6:7 “Teach these things to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting together at home, and while you are walking down the street.”
4. I want to learn from the young people organizing in Denver and I want our FUMC children and youth to have an opportunity to do the same.
We will let you know what we experience and together we can decide how we will respond.
Peace, Salaam, Shalom!