Donate to our boiler restoration fund!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Awakening 4: The third Sunday in Advent, let it be


Did anyone notice yesterday was 12/13/14?  None of us will see that again.

The third Sunday of Advent. In the midst of anger and rage. Where are we today? This is our Let it be Sunday. Mary .And McCartney.

Our special guest this week is out own Jeremy.

We start the service with the full text of Bartbara Lundblad’s O Come, O Come Immanuel…

O come, o come Immanuel                                                                                                                                
And bless each place your people dwell
Melt ev’ry weapon crafted for war
Bring peace upon the earth for evermore
Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near.

O come green shoot of Jesse, free
Your people from despair and apathy
Forge justice for the poor and meek
Grant safety for the young ones and the weak.
Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near.

3 O come now, living water, pour your grace
And bring new life to ev’ry withered place;
Speak comfort to each trembling heart:
“Be strong, fear not, for I will ne’er depart”
Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near.

4 O come dear child of Mary come
God’s word made flesh within our earthly home.
Love stir within the womb of night
Revenge and hatred put to flight

And once again, a new litany for lighting our candles….

One: Our brothers and sisters are not yet free. Like captives and exiles in their own land, they mourn the loss of children with inconsolable grief.
All: We light this candle in solidarity. We light this candle to light the path from lament to hope. To the day of true emancipation when all will live in freedom.
One: Words like ‘Ferguson”, names like Michael Brown, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, I can’t breathe make our days, resound in our nights. Bridges, highways, subways close. There is pain that goes beyond words, and the unbelievable that is only all too believable.
All: In such a world, the prophet cries Comfort, comfort my peopleprepare the way a new day is cominga new day will come.
One: There is hope in the voices raised yesterday in our city from Washington Square to Police Plaza crying out for justice and an end to violence.
All: There is hope in the song of a woman about to give birth to a child, a sign that God is with us, a sign of a new reality being born, a sign of a victory already one, a song that with full heart says, “Let it Be”..

Our prophetic lesson is that passage from Isaiah that practically preaches itself..

1   The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, 
          because the LORD has anointed me; 
     he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, 
          to bind up the brokenhearted, 
     to proclaim liberty to the captives, 
          and release to the prisoners; 
2   to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, 
          and the day of vengeance of our God; 
          to comfort all who mourn; 
3   to provide for those who mourn in Zion — 
          to give them a garland instead of ashes, 
     the oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
          the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. 
     They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
          the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. 
4   They shall build up the ancient ruins, 
          they shall raise up the former devastations; 
     they shall repair the ruined cities, 
          the devastations of many generations.
8   For I the LORD love justice, 
          I hate robbery and wrongdoing; 
     I will faithfully give them their recompense, 
          and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 
9   Their descendants shall be known among the nations, 
          and their offspring among the peoples; 
     all who see them shall acknowledge 
          that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed. 
10  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, 
          my whole being shall exult in my God; 
     for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, 
          he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, 
     as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, 
          and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 
11  For as the earth brings forth its shoots, 
          and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, 
     so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise 
          to spring up before all the nations.

We follow that by singing Oh Mary don't you weep don't you mourn..including Arlo Guthrie’s original verse, Moses was the first to get the notion  that the world is safer with the army in the ocean…Why is this appropriate for Advent? It’s  Moses’ sister Mary, but Jesus’ mother too. And it’s Moses’ pharoah and the Roman Empire. And the pharaohs of our own day. And it’s filled with Advent apocalyptic language:
One of these days about 12 o’clock this old world gonna reel and rock….

We do our Psalm somewhere between people’s mic style and pastor K from SPSA style, repeating key phrases for emphasis….

1When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, 
          we were like those who dream. 
2   Then our mouth was filled with laughter, 
          and our tongue with shouts of joy; 
     then it was said among the nations, 
          “The Lord has done great things for them.” 
3   The Lord has done great things for us, 
          and we rejoiced.
4   Restore our fortunes, O Lord, 
          like the watercourses in the Negeb. 
5   May those who sow in tears 
          reap with shouts of joy. 
6   Those who go out weeping, 
          bearing the seed for sowing, 
     shall come home with shouts of joy, 
          carrying their sheaves.

Jeremy follows the prophetic words with  I Can See Clearly Now by Jimmy Cliff.

 For our gospel lesson. We’ve got Mary’s song, the Magnificat
6b My soul magnifies the Lord, 
47       and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 
48  for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. 
          Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 
49  for the Mighty One has done great things for me, 
          and holy is his name. 
50  His mercy is for those who fear him 
          from generation to generation. 
51  He has shown strength with his arm; 
          he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 
52  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, 
          and lifted up the lowly; 
53  he has filled the hungry with good things, 
          and sent the rich away empty. 
54  He has helped his servant Israel, 
          in remembrance of his mercy, 
55  according to the promise he made to our ancestors, 
          to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
 As a commentary on the Magnificat, Jeremy plays Let it Be, Paul McCartney’s riff on Mary’s song.

And these are my reflections:
It’s been yet another week…it’s the third  Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, Mary’s Sunday. It’s the Sunday for the pink candle. A Sunday for Joy…so who’s feeling joy? We are celebrating the beginning of our began this week. There must be joy in that…Certainly the santacon revelers yesterday were wearing something that at least looked like joy.  And yet….our streets are filled with anger..

Last Monday…a circle of clergy went to  city hall…but we began at St.Paul’s Chapel…itself a symbol of rebirth…(do you remember our hours of volunteer work at Ground Zero on the St. Paul’s steps?) We celebrated a liturgy of breath…a way of breathing together (for which the literal translation is conspiracy). Then  we marched silently to city hall. Joined the black and latino city council caucus in a die-in closing Broadway. Then into the council chambers, where we sang freedom songs and spirituals.

On reflection, we realized something.  Chants are essentially confrontational, singing  is invitational,oiur singing  blessed the council…..after we ended our die-in, we left with the echo of we shall overcome ringing in the rotunda…

Yesterday, the streets filled with people….marching against police violence.

There is a thirst right now that cannot be quenched…

In this context, we hear Mary’s song, an old song,in this case, the song of  Hannah. (1 Samuel 2) Like we sing the Seeger songs, she sings her song…

The thing is, she sings as if it has already happened….and it has specific content…it is a reversal….
My soul magnifies the lord….she sings..

We as a people have HOPE, but what about JOY?
Yesterday, there was this chant, I believe that we will win…
For Mary, she saw the victory as already won..

There is a question however, How do we make this personal? We are a part of something larger… bigger than us…a something rooted in love…where and how do we feel it? (From Lincoln to other Theresa to William Styron it's a sense of being connected to something beyond ourselves that enables us to move beyond depression. 

Mary, an unmarried pregnant woman in day when that was dangerous
Living at the lower end of working class in occupied land with an oppressive power in control…feels in her womb a sense of HOPE a sense of JOY

Mc Cartney’s Let it be….is based on magnificatLet it be…is beyond political issues ti the personal issues of loneliness or broken heartedness, it’ s all directed to these people as individuals….let it be…, let it be

That’s our challenge…to let it be…

And we finish, one last time with Ella’s song. After Saturday, we had too…
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes
Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers' sons
That which touches me most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me
To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can but shed some light as they carry us through the gale
The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hands of the young, who dare to run against the storm
Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
I need to be one in the number as we stand against tyranny
Struggling myself don't mean a whole lot, I've come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survives
I'm a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At times I can be quite difficult, I'll bow to no man's word
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Then it’s time for Jeremy’s own performance. He begins with his own song, written as a tribute to a family friend, Kathy Boudin. ( Who is actually here to hear him sing it… I wanted to hear him sing  it because of the chorus:

What do you do with a world on fire?
How do we change how we live?
You have just one life to give.

Somehow fits what’s going on around us.


Our band arrives for another rehearsal. This will be our first run through with Rabbi Steve. He’s got that high voice we’ve been missing. Tomorrow night draws close.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The WBAI interview is here....

Faith Leaders Stage Die-In For Eric Garner

- City Hall, New York City 12/09/2014 by Linda Perry (WBAI)

Click the play arrow to listen to audio (Flash required).

For faith leaders the abuse of might and force by the police is in deep conflict with traditions calling for peace and justice.
On Monday afternoon, they staged a die-in for Eric Garner in the rotunda at City Hall.
Please click the link above to hear Linda's report.

headline photo
Die-in in support of Eric Garner in the Rotunda at City Hall, December 8, 2014 (Linda Perry)

What the Huffington Post had to say

NYC Clergy Join Black And Latino City Council Caucus 'Die In' To Protest Eric Garner Killing

Posted: Updated: 

When a coalition of clergy arrived at the New York City Hall to stage a "die in" prayer protest on Monday Dec. 8, they were met with a welcome surprise.
Members of the Black and Latino Caucus had planned an action concurrently and were already assembled when the group of 75 faith leaders arrived at the city hall doorsteps Monday afternoon. The two groups came together to hold a "die in" for several minutes and read names of more than 100 victims of police violence from the last year.
"We came here today to New York City Hall and wonderfully found New York City council members were on the same page," Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, told HuffPost from the protest.
Chanting "God can't breathe" and singing spirituals, the clergy were out Monday to protest the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.
"It's extremely important to me as a Muslim when I see that some of God's children in New York are not being valued," Sarsour said. "It's important for clergy to be part of bringing back the moral compass on how [law enforcement] treat all New Yorkers with dignity because that's what God wants us to do."
Rev. Donna Schaper wrote to The Huffington Post that she "had to stand up for what is right and decent and enough is enough. I love my country too much to let the police remain un-policed"

The coalition also delivered a letter signed by more than 100 clergy members calling for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to oversee police misconduct and criminal justice reform in New York City and across the nation.
"Eric Garner couldn't breathe. And as a pastor and man of faith, I know that my faith can't breathe until we transform our sadness into a faith-rooted movement for real police reform, working for the restoration of a broken criminal justice system," Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Micah Institute, said in a press release.
Signed by clergy from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions, including president of Union Theological Seminary Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the Islamic Centers' Imam Khalid Latif and Middle Collegiate Church's senior minister Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, theletter appealed to New York Mayor de Blasio and other city leaders "to stand on the side of what is moral, just, and right."
We fear not, but walk on to bear prophetic witness to a world of peace and justice, where we all can live together in love. As faith leaders, we stand united in affirming that all people are “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), and will continue to put our bodies and the bodies of our parishioners on the line until our city is safe for our children, especially children of color.
The clergy also called the lack of accountability within the police department "a spiritual problem," citing the work of faith leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Dorothy Day, Ana Karim, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, and The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr who preached nonviolence.
"In contrast to militarized violence, our faith traditions call us to nonviolent love," the letter stated. "We are empowered to serve others, not to abuse our human power in destructive ways, including taking a fellow human’s life."
Four New York rabbis engaged in similar demonstration on Thursday were arrestedafter reciting the kaddish, a Jewish mourning prayer, and reading the names of more than 20 black individuals who had been killed by New York police, followed by the statement, “I am responsible.”
"Rabbis and all Jews need to stand up and say that every single person is a creation in the divine image -- that black lives matter," Rabbi Jill Jacobs told HuffPost after the Thursday protest. "We put our bodies on the line to show how crucial it is that the systems meant to protect us do protect all of us."



December 8, 2014
Dear Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate James, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and the City
Council of New York:
We write to you today with heavy, but hopeful hearts. We were shocked, but not
surprised, that the grand jury on Staten Island refused to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo,
who choked Eric Garner and took his life. The days since have witnessed the outbreak of
a citywide movement for police reform in the streets of our beloved city. We commend
many of you for your public stands in opposition to the Eric Garner decision. We
consider your visible witness as public servants a living testimony that you stand with us
in our pursuit of lasting love and abiding justice in New York City.
As a broad coalition of antiracist spiritual leaders from many faiths, we ask that you be
true to your calling as public servants, continuing to stand on the side of what is moral,
just, and right. Our city is experiencing a moral crisis: the police are not being policed.
They appear to be above the law. Even grand juries seem incapable of holding the police
accountable, indicative of the insidious nature of institutional racism in the New York
City Police Department and in our city. We ask you to join us in calling on New York
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate
and prosecute every excessive force and wrongful death case by police officers, and in
particular, to immediately appoint a Special Prosecutor in the wrongful death of Eric
Garner. We also ask the New York City Council to expedite a draft legislation making
the chokehold illegal, with significant penalties for any officer who uses it.
Eric Garner’s cry for life has become the cry of our beloved city, echoing the cry of a
nation. When one of our own cries out, “I can’t breathe,” we all feel their asphyxiation.
We hear the cry, and we must respond.
We can’t breathe. God can’t breathe.
“When one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice
together” (1 Corinthians 1:26). Whenever one of God’s children is hurting, we all hurt.
When one dies, we all grieve. It is vital that we care courageously and compassionately
for all of God’s children. As the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) taught, a
person is not truly faithful until he loves for his brother what he loves for his own soul
(Hadith, 288).
We know that something is deeply wrong when people in every socioeconomic class —
from Executive Vice President John Vaughn of Auburn Seminary (“When I close my
eyes maybe it will go away,” Huffington Post, Dec. 3) to people who live in homeless
shelters, or who reside in public housing and brownstones and apartments throughout the
city — raise fears for their black loved ones’ lives simply because they are black. Our
people are not safe, especially our children of color. The persistent pattern of refusing to A Pastoral Letter from Concerned Faith Leaders in the City of New York 2
indict police officers who kill people of color, especially black men, continues to
communicate that the lives of God’s beloved children do not matter. These killings are
breaking the hearts of our children, creating fear and anxiety about their own safety and
future. Our hearts are broken and we refuse to be consoled, like Rachel in Ramah,
weeping for her lost children (Jeremiah 31:15).
We fear not, but walk on to bear prophetic witness to a world of peace and justice, where
we all can live together in love. As faith leaders, we stand united in affirming that all
people are “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), and will continue to put our
bodies and the bodies of our parishioners on the line until our city is safe for our children,
especially children of color. We will fight on until God’s “justice rolls on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream” in New York City (Amos 5:24).
You are our elected representatives in city government. We are grateful for your public
leadership and your commitment to care for all New Yorkers. We care about what you
are going through now, with multiple constituencies and diverse points of view pounding
down your doors. We urge you to look higher and deeper at what really matters and see
how crucial it is that we have peace in our hearts, hearths, and streets. That peace is now
obstructed by the abuse of police power.
The lack of accountability within the New York Police Department is not just a moral
problem, but a spiritual problem. Since September 11, 2001, we have witnessed a pattern
in the consolidation of power within the New York Police Department with officers using
excessive force. The abuse of might and force are in deep conflict with our faith
traditions’ calls to love and justice. The Hebrew prophet Zechariah writes, “Not by might
or power … but by the Spirit of the Living God” (Zechariah 4:6). God’s Spirit is marked
by justice, love, and peace.
In contrast to militarized violence, our faith traditions call us to nonviolent love. We are
empowered to serve others, not to abuse our human power in destructive ways, including
taking a fellow human’s life. We urge you to see the gravity of our current moral crisis
and join us in healing our broken hearts and our broken system. We urge you to restore
peace to our community by reforming the New York Police Department.
Let us strengthen the bonds of our shared humanity among citizens and police officers, so
that we may live free with mutual respect and abiding trust. May this moral crisis become
a window of opportunity, for us to stand together in just policing policies that will bring
healing and hope to our city, state, and world.
In the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Dorothy Day, Ana
Karim, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, and The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we as
faith leaders in New York City are committed to the path of nonviolent love that is
spiritually deep and politically wise with an abiding faith that the universe is on the side
of justice, and that, in the end, love will triumph over evil. A Pastoral Letter from Concerned Faith Leaders in the City of New York 3
The Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, Assistant Pastor of Evangelism, Park Avenue Christian
The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church
The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D. Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
The Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler, Senior Minister, The Riverside Church in the City of New
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New
Frederick A. Davie, M.Div., Executive Vice-President, Union Theological Seminary in
the City of New York
The Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson, President, Auburn Theological Seminary
Macky Alston, M.Div., Vice President for Media and Engagement, Auburn Theological
Lisa Anderson, Senior Director of Intersectional Engagement & Strategic Convening,
Auburn Theological Seminary
The Rev. Dr. John P. Vaughn, Executive Vice President, Auburn Theological Seminary
Jeffry Mummert, Chair, The Collegiate Churches of New York
The Rev. Adriene J. Thorne, Executive Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
Chad Tanaka Pack, Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
James Kast-Keat, M.Div. Associate Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
Alisa Joyce, M.Div. Associate Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
The Rev. Michael Bos, Senior Minister, West End Collegiate Church
The Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones, Priest for Pastoral Care and Staff/Vestry
Chaplain, Trinity Wall Street
Janet Walton, SNJM, Professor of Worship, Union Theological Seminary
The Rev. Dr. Dale T. Irvin, President and Professor of World Christianity, New York
Theological Seminary
Rev. Susan Sparks, Senior Pastor, Madison Avenue Baptist Church
The Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Senior Minister, The Concord Baptist Church or Christ
The Rev. Emma Jordan-Simpson, Executive Pastor, The Concord Baptist Church of
Hussein Rashid, Ph.D., Itinerant Preacher (Islam)
The Rev. Michael E. Livingston, Executive Minister, The Riverside Church in the City of
New York
The Rev. John Janka, Interim Minister of Membership, Care, and Pastoral Care, The
Riverside Church in the City of New York
P. Kimberleigh Jordan, Ph.D., Ford Postdoctoral Fellow, Union Theological SeminaryA Pastoral Letter from Concerned Faith Leaders in the City of New York 4
Reverend Lorena M. Parrish, Ph.D.
Reverend David R. Gaewski, Conference Minister, New York Conference, United
Church of Christ
Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, Member, New York City Presbytery
Rev. Robert Chase, Founding Director, Intersections International
Isaac Luria, Vice President, Auburn Action, Auburn Theological Seminary
Reverend Khader El-Yateem, Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY
Dr. Ahmad Jaber, President, Islamic Mission of America, Brooklyn, NY
Imam Khalid Latif, Islamic Center at New York University.
Father Juan Carlos Ruiz, New Sanctuary Movement
The Rev. Rubén Austria, Community Connections for Youth
The Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear, Pastor, West-Park Presbyterian Church Faculty,
Newark School of Theology
Pastor Elise Brown, Advent Lutheran Church
The Rev. Alistair Drummond, West End Presbyterian Church
Rabbi Michael E. Feinberg, Executive Director, Greater New York Labor-Religion
The Rev. Stephen Holton, STM Christ's Church, Rye, NY
The Rev. Julie Johnson Staples, Interim Minister for Education, The Riverside Church in
the City of New York
The Rev. Dr. K. Karpen, Church of St Paul and St Andrew United Methodist
The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer Rector-Elect, Trinity Wall Street
Pastor Heidi Neumark, Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York
Minister Richard Price, Harlem Church of Christ
Senior Minister Dr. O. J. Shabazz, Harlem Church of Christ
Rev. Wayne R. Christiansen, All Souls Bethlehem Church, Brooklyn, NY (UU, UCC and
Rev. David H. Rommereim, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Dean of South West
Conference Brooklyn Co-Vice President Faith in New York
Rev. Patrick Williams of St. Philip’s Church (Harlem).
Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid President, on behalf of the Constituent Imams &
Members, The Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan NY
Rev. Keith Johnson, St. Philips Episcopal Church, Harlem
The Reverend Lisa D. Jenkins, Senior Pastor, St. Matthew’s Baptist Church of Harlem,
Faith-based Liaison, Manhattan Community Board 10A Pastoral Letter from Concerned Faith Leaders in the City of New York 5
The Rev. Dr. Carl L. Washington, Pastor, New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Harlem;
Moderator, United Missionary Baptist Association
The Rev. Dr. Fred Burrell, Sr. Pastor, Fellowship Baptist Church, Bronx, New York
The Rev. Dionne P. Boissière, Chaplain of the Church Center for the United Nations
The Rev. Deborah D. Jenkins, Pastor, Faith @ Work Christian Church, Bronx, NY
The Rev. Lerone Crawford, Day Spring Baptist Church, New York, NY
Rev. James A. Kilgore, Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church, New York, NY
Rev. Dr. Cheryl Anthony, Senior Pastor, Judah International Christian Center. Women of
Faith Advocating Change, Brooklyn, NY
The Rev. Dr. Dale T. Irvin, President, New York Theological Seminary
Father Jim Sheehan, Roman Catholic Chaplain, Hostos Community College
Rev. Leon Blunt Jr., Senior Pastor, Mt. Zion Church of Christ Disciples
The Reverend Canon Terence Alexander Lee, Rector, St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church,
Hollis, NY
The Reverend Violet L. D. Lee, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Sister Fund
Rev. Dr. Glenmore Bembry, Jr., Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
The Rev. Martha Overall, Priest of St. Ann's Church of Morrisania, Bronx, NY
Rev. Dr. Robert M Waterman, Pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY;
President of the African American Clergy and Elected Officials Organization
Rev. Earl Jones Sr., Pastor, First Calvary Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
Pastors Sharlene and Divine Pryor, Greater Works Deliverance Church Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Anthony L. Trufant, Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Valerie Cousin, Executive Minister, Bridge Street AME Church, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Conrad B. Tillard Sr., Th.M., Senior Minister, Nazarene Congregational United
Church of Christ, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Dr. Mariah Britton, Interim Pastor Devoe Street Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Clinton Miller, Brown Memorial Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
Pastor Lawrence E. Aker III, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Sharon E. Williams, Baptist Church of the Redeemer, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Shaun J. Lee, Senior Pastor, Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
The Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, Interfaith Center of New York, Associate
Priest, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
Aisha Al Adawiya, Founder & Board President, Women In Islam, Inc.
Micah Bucey, Community Minister of the Arts, Judson Memorial Church
Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, The Open Church, Baltimore, MD.
Dr. Cari Jackson, Center of Spiritual LightA Pastoral Letter from Concerned Faith Leaders in the City of New York 6
The Rev. Dr. Tony Baker, Sr. Pastor, St. Philips Baptist Church, Staten Island
The Reverend Patricia A. Morris, Pastor, The New Springfield Missionary Baptist
Church of Harlem
The Reverend Roderick T. Merritt, Pastor, Tried Stone Baptist Church, Bronx, NY
The Reverend Jeffery S. Thompson, Senior Pastor, Amity Baptist Church, Jamaica, NY
Rev. Dr. Michael Carrion, Senior Pastor ECC National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Fr. James Francis Sheehan, Jr. Catholic Archdiocese of NY
Elder Doris, Gospel of St. Luke Church in the Bronx
Gilford T. Monrose, Pastor, Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day)
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Director of Programs, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human
Reverend Freeman L. Palmer, Associate Conference Minister, New York Conference,
United Church of Christ
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, Senior Pastor, New Hope Christian Fellowship; Chairman,
Churches United to Save and Heal (CUSH); Chairman, New Hope Academy Charter
The Rev. Mary Anne Glover, Regional Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Northeastern Region
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Executive Director, Greater New York Labor-Religion
Reverend Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson, Senior Pastor Park Avenue Christian Church
(Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ)
Rev. Dr. Adolphus Lacey, Senior Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church
Rev. Mike Warlrond, Jr., Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church
Rev. Dr. Ray Rivera President and CEO Latino Pastoral Action Center
Onleilove Alston, M.Div., MSW, Interim Executive Director Faith in New York (A
PICO Partner)
Rabbi Justus Baird, Dean, Auburn Theological Seminary
The Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen, Vice-President, Applied Research, Auburn Theological
The Rev. J. C. Austin, Vice-President for Christian Leadership Formation, Auburn
Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs, BCC
Rev. Luis Alfredo-Cartegena, Associate Pastor of Outreach, Park Avenue Christian
The Rev. Dr. Mary Foulke, Rector, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Harlem