Moral Mondays Moving

Dear Friends, Comrades and Colleagues,

This past Monday, Moral Mondays began here in New York City as a joyful, prayerful, song filled evening on the steps of Federal Hall, opposite the New York Stock Exchange.

If you know right from wrong, you are part of this witness.

Please join us this Monday for our next vigil & Tuesday for our Coalition meeting to decide on a provisional decision-making structure and the shape of the next few weeks.

Moral Mondays Vigil
Monday, October 21st, 6pm
The steps of Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street

Moral Monday Coalition
Meeting October 22nd, 1pm-4pm
Judson Church
239 Thompson Street

Notes from last meeting

And a parting song from last Monday.

Love and Solidarity,

Rev. Rosemary McNatt, Fourth Universalist Society
Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Judson Memorial Church
Ravi Ahmad, Occupy Wall Street

18. October 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Video: You’re Invited to Moral Mondays

16. October 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Video: Moral Mondays … One Day!

16. October 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Photos from first Moral Mondays in NYC

16. October 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Moral Mondays are on!

Dear friends, colleagues and comrades,


I think the other attendees at the Moral Monday meeting on Tuesday October 8th would agree that it was a rousing success. We had a deep discussion of our moralvalues, the injustices in the world that keep us up at night and how to bring our diversemoral beliefs and passions into an open, engaging action.


We’re very excited to announce that a small group will do a test action on Monday Oct 14th, 6pm at the steps of Federal Hall. The intention is to test the viability and logistics of a basic action and report back to the larger group.
More info:
Since this is a trial balloon, there will be balloons on which we can write our hopes and prayers and release into the world. Don’t worry, the balloons will be bio-degradable :)


Additionally, the group this Tuesday felt that we needed more people in the room to shape the specific actions for, say, the first few events. We could then meet again after a month of actions to reflect and pivot around our experience as needed. Can you tell we only want meetings when absolutely necessary?


We’d like to propose a meeting on October 22nd, 1pm-4pm for this specific need. If you would like to attend this meeting, please read the meeting notes and the Draft Statement so you are familiar with the work that has been done.
Meeting notes
Draft Statement


Please share this information with as many allies as you can. The google files are all public so anyone with the link can view them.


We hope to see you in the streets and on Tuesday, October 22nd at Judson Church.


Onwards!Rosemary McNatt, Fourth Universalist Society

Ravi Ahmad, Occupy Wall Street


ps- You can see photos of our discussion board here.

10. October 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Join the Moral Mondays Movement

Moral Mondays Actions
Dear friends and colleagues of Occupy Faith,


I’m writing to invite each and every one of you to join us for a new wave of prophetic witness.  In case you haven’t been following the excitement that’s been growing out of North Carolina, here’s a little introduction:


& here:

Now Moral Mondays is coming to NYC.  Join faith leaders, occupiers, and activists from many backgrounds for this initial planning retreat:

12:00, Noon
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square Park S,
New York, NY 10012

12 Noon Introductions and Getting Reacquainted  Donna Schaper
1  PM   Introduction to the Issues facing Us  Mike Kink, Strong for All
!:30   What Dr. King Meant about Moderates and Moderation: A Review
2:00   Open Dialogue about Next Steps and Overall Strategy
3:00   Next Steps and Assignments
               Announcements of Related Actions
               Who else needs to be in the Room?
               Question about Clergy and Mondays: Time Line Going Forward?
               Which issues have the most value for Faith Communities?
4:00   Social Hour.
5:00   Back to Voting!

Hope to see you there,
Revs. Michael Ellick & Donna Schaper

09. September 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Faith Voices Speak Out: Creating Safe Sanctuaries


Safe Sanctuaries MeetingFollowing the murder of Mark Carson blocks away from our building last weekend, the LGBTQ community is in crisis, and the Judson Memorial Church community is outraged.  The time has come for people of faith to speak up and do something about it.  We’re calling for an emergency meeting next:

Friday (5/31), 12p-2p
Judson Memorial Church
Enter at 239 Thompson Street in Manhattan

RSVP below or through Facebook
If you are unable to attend or send someone but are still interested in forming a coordinated faith response to the current atrocities, please let us know.

By now, we’re all aware of this month’s disturbing, anti-LGBTQ activity. New York City has been afflicted by the murder of an openly gay man and at least six violent bashings of openly LGBTQ folk. Fifty protesters from the Tbilisi, Georgia LGBTQ community have been viciously attacked by a mob of thousands, led by priests in black robes. The Westboro Baptist Church has declared Oklahoma’s recent, devastating tornado an act of God’s justice against athlete Jason Collins’ coming out. It seems that, along with the astonishing progress the LGBTQ community has made, more and more retaliating vitriol is erupting from those whose deep-rooted fear of difference drives them toward violence.


Image: Linked to Video on Mark Carson Vigil


Religious tradition, language, and practice have historically contributed to the hateful rhetoric that lies at the foundation of this fear. “Church” and “Faith” have become dirty words to many who exist in and support our LGBTQ friends, particularly those who have found themselves directly affected by hateful violence. It’s time to take these words back.


It’s time to declare the defense of LGBTQ equality, health, and existence as some of our most pressing spiritual issues, and issues that any church claiming to be a community of faith must take up with fervor or cease to call itself such.


As the Supreme Court moves toward a decision on Marriage Equality, this violence is certain to not only continue, but to escalate. The LGBTQ community will need, perhaps more than ever, the support of institutions committed to social justice for all. We must come together, as faith leaders, to plan how we as a church community will counteract this hate, and how we will open our selves and our sacred spaces to embrace the LGBTQ community at this hour of intense need.  Our highest calling is to defend bodies and transform minds. Both are at stake at this moment.


We hope to see you on Friday (5/31).

28. May 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Sign-on: Immigration Reform Without Profiling & Discrimination

Dear faith leaders,

Racial and religious profiling is wrong, illegal and immoral. We want to make sure that faith communities both local and national faith institutions and houses of workship, consortiums, etc. are heard loud and clear that any anti-profiling provision includes religion and national origin be protected categories.

[Click here to sign onDownload statement.]

We must send a strong message to the Senate that WE NEED a STRONG and INCLUSIVE BAN ON RACIAL PROFILING in any immigration bill. In an effort to raise awareness on this issue and its importance to our community, please find attached a letter that will be distributed to the Senate, explaining the need for national origin and religion to be included in the ban on profiling and for the national and border security loopholes to be eliminated.

If your organization would like to sign on, please do so using this link – the deadline is Friday at 12pm ET / 11am CT /9am PT. [Click here to sign onDownload statement.]
Please pass this on to your colleagues and allies. We want to send a letter with hundreds of signatories from diverse organizations from across the country!

16. May 2013 by Paul.Russell
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Fair Elections Action

Dear Friends,

As faith leaders, we are called to build a society that promotes dignity for all people. That effort is undermined, however, when the rules governing the electoral process amplify the voice of a small segment of the population while diminishing that of the rest.  Now we understand that Speaker Silver and the New York State Assembly has supported a bill that would institute a system of public campaign finance similar to the successful New York City program, and the time for us to show our support has come.  A group of us including, Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church Rev. Dr. James Forbes, are heading up to Albany for a pray-in and preach-out on April 30th.  Please show your support by:

1) Following this link and signing on to this “faith leader letter” [CLICK HERE.]

2) Joining us at for an informational meeting at 2pm on Wednesday 4/10 at Judson Memorial Church (Enter at 239 Thompson Street, head for the Garden Room).

3) Sharing this email with your faith leader colleagues, and promoting this event within your own faith communities (a brochure will be coming soon for you to do forward online or in print).

4) Joining us up in Albany on Tuesday, April 30.  Transportation will be arranged from NYC for any who are interested in going.  In the meantime, please RSVP below.

You can also keep fair elections in your prayers.  It is an absolute necessity that government start working for the people, and not the business interests funding the elections.  Please pray for a more fair and just NY State.

In faith,
Rev. Michael Ellick

03. April 2013 by Paul.Russell
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J19 Money Out, Voters In

Some of you may have already heard about this through the Occupy Wall-Street or Occupy Faith grapevines, but here is your official invitation to the “Money-Out/Voters-in” Day of Action on Saturday Afternoon, January 19th… join us at the Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South.  Doors open at 12:30p, program starts at 1p.

After the main program at the Kimmel Center, we will then be heading down to 1 Federal Plaza at 4p for an actual marriage ceremony between two corporations.  Can’t miss that, right?  Bring your handkerchiefs… it’s going to be a real tear-jerker.

Join OWS Faith Leaders and many other allies from around the city and the state for this important and exciting program, designed to kick off a united effort to support our three objectives:
1.     Overturn Citizens United
2.     Enact Publicly Financed Elections in New York State and Washington
3.     Expand the Vote

You and/or your institution can help make this day a success by taking two steps:
1) Allow us to add your organization’s name to our list of endorsers (reach out to Sam to let him know:
2) Reach out to all of your members and supporters and encourage them to participate in the day of action on January 19th.

Together we can make a difference. Can we count on your support?
You can find out more about the Money-Out/Voters-In Day of Action, Jan. 19 below or on their website.

The Skirball Center at NYU
60 Washington Square South
12:30 – 3:00
-         Forum with speakers and entertainment
-         Facilitated breakout sessions to discuss how to move forward on each of our three objectives
1 Federal Plaza
4:00 Outdoor Public Event
-         In honor of the notion of that a corporation is a person, help celebrate the marriage ceremony between a person and a corporation.

Organized by Occupy Wall Street
The Brennan Center for Legal Justice, NYU
Citizen Action
Common Cause/NY
Judson Memorial Church
New Roosevelt Initiative
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Faith
Public Citizen
United Federation of Teachers


Money-Out/Voters-In Day of Action, Jan. 19, 2013
We Demand Democracy!

In 2012, big money Super PACS and voter suppression schemes assaulted our system of self-government and lost…this time. But they’ll be back to try to buy or steal our democracy unless we stop them.

That’s why New Yorkers and Americans across the country – along with a large labor, public interest, voting rights, faith and environmental coalition – are organizing a national Money-Out Voters-In Day on January 19, 2013. That weekend is the intersection of the 3rd anniversary of Citizens United, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the Inauguration of a pro-democracy President.

With over 80 cities participating, the centerpiece will be New York City and our target Albany, which we hope will take up the Fair Elections Act in the coming months.

Our system of government isn’t so much broken as rigged. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United disastrously overturned a century of campaign finance law to concentrate even more political power in the hands of special interests and billionaires. At the same time, 22 states tried to restrict the freedom to vote by erecting unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to registration and voting. In most of those states, voters successfully fought back and stood up for the rights Dr. King was talking about in his historic address at the Washington Monument in 1957, when he exhorted, “Give us the ballot! Give us the ballot!”

Instead of only defensively fighting off attacks on democracy, however, the groups participating in Money-Out/Voters-In Day are positively advocating three broad solutions because we demand democracy!

*Overturn Citizens United with a constitutional amendment so that a momentary five conservative Supreme Court majority doesn’t enshrine the ethic that money is speech and corporations are people. Already, 140 Members of Congress, dozens of cities and nine states — most recently Montana and Colorado by over-whelming majorities — are in favor.

*Enact Publicly-Financed Elections by extending to New York State and Washington the kind of small donor matching system we have in New York City. Then the impact of a voter’s voice won’t depend on the size of her wallet.

*Expand the Vote by not merely fighting back suppression efforts like restrictive ID Laws laws but also by expanding the electorate with such approaches as early voting, universal voter registration, same day registration, voting by mail, and a National Democracy Day on a Saturday in November.

After the public backlash against the Adelsons, Kochs and Roves — and the electoral majorities of pro- democracy candidates for the House, Senate and President — this is the most opportune moment since the Watergate reforms to galvanize and organize around a Democracy-for-All Program. For unless we “fix this,” to use President Obama’s election night phrase, it’ll be harder if not impossible to pass so many other advances such as climate change, a living wage, a more progressive tax code, violence control and immigration reform.

We come together for a National Day of Action on January 19 not because it’s easy to reverse Citizens United but because it’s essential. Unless we act, money and suppression will continue to veto popular majorities on issue after issue. While there are important organizations working separately on campaign finance reform and voting rights, it’s also urgent that we unite to work together on the two sides of the same coin of democracy. That can only happen when elected officials in state capitols and Washington listen more to voters than donors.

14. January 2013 by Paul.Russell
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