Posts filed under ‘Peace and Justice’

Martin Luther King of Georgia

January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

We have flown the air like birds,
השכלנו לטוס באוויר כמו ציפורים
حلّقنا في الهواء كالعصافير

We have swum the sea like fishes
השכלנו לשחות בים כמו דגים
سبحنا في البحر كالأسماك

But have yet to learn the simple act
אך עדיין לא למדנו את המעשה הפשוט….
لكننا لم نتقن بعد، تلك المهارة البسيطة ….

Of walking the earth like brothers
של ללכת על האדמה כמו אחים
أن نمشي على الأرض كالأخوة

Words by: Martin Luther King Jr.
מילים: מרטין לוטר קינג הבן
من أقوال:مارتن لوثر كينج

January 13, 2011 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Advent: Time for Sowing

By Roon Lewald

Funeral Dirt

Funeral Dirt

It’s the first of the four Advent Sundays, when folks here in Germany light the first of four candles on their Advent fir-branch wreaths and get into the pre-Christmas spirit. Even agnostics can’t help reflecting on the meaning of it all on a quiet Sunday evening when Christmas-minded people take a short break from their gift-shopping labours before plunging back into the seasonal shopping rush again on Monday (illuminations are already up and Christmas markets are booming in the city centers, and Germans are again spending this year as if the recession never happened.)  With new terror scares vying with the global economic crisis for attention, the news is so depressing nowadays it’s hard to believe that there’s any room left in the world for the human love, friendship and compassion we hear so much about at Christmastime. I can only draw comfort from the knowledge that many people like myself are at least linked to other individuals by such bonds.

In this mood, I was reminded of a short story by a South African author named Charles Bosman. (more…)

December 6, 2010 at 3:18 am 2 comments

Bishop Margot Käßmann: A lesson on dealing with personal guilt

By Roon Lewald

Late one February night, a young German traffic cop spotted a black Phaeton luxury limousine turning right against the red light at an intersection near a night-life district in Hanover. Flagging the sleek vehicle to a stop, he confronted the woman driver, sniffed her breath and handed her his breathalyzer. The recorded blood alcohol level was around 1 %, well over the legal limit. A blood test at the local precinct registered a considerably higher value of 1.54 %, beyond the 1.5 % level at which motorists are legally considered incapable of driving.

On the following Monday, the mass-circulation Bild Zeitung tabloid broke the news that state attorneys were investigating a criminal charge of drunken driving against Margot Käßmann, the Lutheran Evangelical Church (EKD) state bishop of Lower Saxony and the first woman ever to become president of the governing council of Germany’s main Protestant church. (more…)

April 3, 2010 at 6:01 am 3 comments

Seeing and Believing

A sermon preached on Mark 10:42-52 in The Chapel of the Good Shepherd at The General Theological Seminary on Friday October 2nd 2009

Listen here

“Take heart!  Get up!  Jesus is calling you!”[1]

Bible characters get the strangest nicknames.  As a graduate from Methodist,  Anglican and Mormon Sunday Schools, I feel particularly qualified to make such a sweeping generalization!  In an effort to impress on my young mind the core life-lessons of the Bible, a long series of earnest and well-meaning teachers have left indelible fingerprints on the associations I immediately make in my mind when I hear the name of a particular Bible character.  “What one thing,” my teachers surely must have asked themselves while preparing the Sunday School lesson, “What ONE thing can I impress on these young minds about the character in today’s lesson? (more…)

October 3, 2009 at 1:08 am 3 comments

Obama’s Inaugural Address: reading Zimbabwe between the lines

President Obama, Inaugural Address: January 20th 2009

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist . . .

“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.”

Full text of Pres. Obama’s Address here.

January 22, 2009 at 5:24 am Leave a comment

Police storm Anglican parish in Zimbabwe

The parishioners were lined up for Holy Communion on Sunday when the riot police stormed the stately St. Francis Anglican Church in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, reports the New York Times. Helmeted, black-booted officers banged on the pews with their batons as terrified members of the congregation stampeded for the doors, witnesses said.A policeman swung his stick in vicious arcs, striking matrons, a girl and a grandmother who had bent over to pick up a Bible dropped in the melee. A lone housewife began singing from a hymn in Shona, “We will keep worshiping no matter the trials!” Hundreds of women, many dressed in the Anglican Mothers’ Union uniform of black skirt, white shirt and blue headdress, lifted their voices to join hers. (more…)

May 19, 2008 at 10:24 am 1 comment

Durban 1947

By Roon Lewald

1947 was a good time to be a white five-year-old in Durban. The beaches offered halcyon days beside the Indian Ocean. The Durban July turned the town into an exciting tourist mecca. The Bioscope was still the gateway to Hollywood’s dream factory of the world. In that stronghold of English speakers, blimpish super-patriots of Empire basked in the last rays of the setting Empire, and the 1947 Royal Visit whipped monarchist enthusiasms to fever pitch. “Our magnificent Zulu” were complacently thought to be quite content with white overlordship, and one of the few blots on white horizons was the rapid encroachment of increasingly prosperous Indian merchants on previously all-white shopping and residential areas. (more…)

May 4, 2008 at 2:43 am 2 comments

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