The Assembly of the Episcopal Urban Caucus is meeting in Oakland this year. The Urban Caucus are folks who affirm that loving our neighbors means struggling for justice and peace in the world -- and also, in their own words, hope to "hold the feet of the Episcopal Church to the fire of social justice." My kind of people; disturbers of the comfortable and complacent. It is a privilege to be part of this meeting this year.
Not surprisingly, this bunch has marched against U.S. wars til their feet ache and them some. Thursday night we assembled for worship at St. Paul's Church in Oakland and brought some of the boots from the American Friends Service Committee's exhibit Eyes Wide Open with us. Each pair of boots is tagged with the name of a U.S. serviceperson who died in Iraq.
Sergeant John E. Allen of Palmdale is not coming back.
Neither are over one million Iraqis. The number is so vast, the human suffering so incalculable, the mind and heart cannot absorb it.
After dark, we stood alongside the boots and prayed for all the victims of war.
How long will the people of the United States remain complicit in wars of choice, wars of conquest? How long must we walk and vigil and hold on to hope and love? How long?