Today I was part of the #MoralMondays Vigil in the New York Capitol State House along with ecumenical and interfaith leaders: Roman Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Reformed, Unitarian, Lutheran, Baptist, Quaker and Presbyterian. We were there to advocate for a fair and moral State budget, one that prioritizes the needs of the poor and at-risk populations in our State and does not give special benefits to special interest groups. I was honored to be there among our interfaith friends as we gathered our voices together for justice and for peace.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Social Witness policy speaks to the specific asks by the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York which is leading the #MoralMondays vigils:
- TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Emergency Food Programs
- Fair Elections
- DREAM Act
Much of this policy comes from the PC(U.S.A.) policy adopted at our 220th General Assembly, World of Hurt, Word of Life and by the 219th General Assembly, Living Through Economic Crisis. Stated Clerk Rev. Gradye Parsons has written in support of the DREAM Act and we have spoken out on electoral reforms.
I was asked to share the prayer I offered at the Vigil:
As we gather today,
people from all places,
situations and locations
Your people. God’s people.
People who want justice
who stand in the tradition of your Spirit
of preference for the poor
those left out of the conversation
those who are without power
those whose hope is dashed.
Those who no longer believe
that this place of power and control
has their best interests in mind.
Because we believe in you
O Holy One
We are here
to stand for these people
because You called us
You sent us
You give us life
And so we are here today
to live into
to raise our voices
to get in the way
to live into the call
you give to us
to be prophets
whose only allegiance and following
is of You.
Today we pray for changed hearts
We pray for the legislators, aides and staff
who are working on the State budget right now.
We pray for their souls and their spirits
that they might open themselves up to You
and change their ways
to enact a budget that provides care and safety
for all New Yorkers
no matter their station in life.
That they would remember their calling
to serve all the people
and that we do not bow down
to special interest groups
that we do not follow the money
but that we follow the God of justice
who came and dwelt among the people.
We pray for new legislation
a renewed sense of purpose
a living into the vision of peace
and care for our most precious commodity
the earth, Creation.
We raise our voices
We stand united and strong
our only hope and our only trust is You
O Lord of the Universe
Alpha and Omega
the end and the beginning
who knit all things together for the good.
We gather our voices together today
for a moral budget
a fair budget
a just budget
make us strong like the prophets
most especially the Prophet we most follow
and let all God’s people
from every tribe gathered here today say