By The Rev. Br. Paul Colbert, CoS
Holy Trinity, Madera
Pentecost in Word and Deed
Come Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of your Love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
This prayer to the Holy Spirit has been used as part of novena prayers between the Feast of the Ascension (yesterday) and the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday week). It is a prayer to stir up the Spirit’s presence within us as continue to live out our Baptismal Covenant. It is a prayer to remind us that the earth needs renewing. In praying this prayer, hopefully, we recognize that as we are Created Co-creators with God, we are also Renewed Co-renewers with God through the power of the Spirit.
One of the projects that is seeing a renewal was started in the 60s by the Rev’d Dr Martin Luther King Jr. As he was working on civil rights issues, he also began the Poor People’s Campaign, recognizing that the opposite of poverty was not wealth, but justice. The Campaign wavered after his assassination. Last year, a group of people decided that instead of marking the anniversary on a calendar, it was time to renew the work.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is a movement to shift the moral narrative of conversation in our country. It is intended to nonviolently and morally confront the immoral policies of systemic racism, systemic poverty, the war economy/militarism, ecological devastation, and the distorted moral narrative of so-called christian/religious nationalism. Some of the work stems from the Moral Monday movement which began in North Carolina a few years back where the mainstream churches challenged the limited moral vision presented by some of the more fundamentalist churches and their members who dominated the legislature.
The PPC will begin the campaign over the next 40 days, running from Mother’s Day through the Summer Solstice, and culminating with the Poor People’s March on Washington on June 23. In 42 states (and 65 nations) there will be educational rallies held at State Capitols to mark Moral Mondays. The PPC in California will hold Moral Monday events at the state capitol in Sacramento starting at 2 pm on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of May, as well as June 4, 11, and 18. Topics will address key areas of the campaign, looking at the depths of poverty and racism in our culture, and how it is being perpetuated through our laws and governmental structures.
There have been, and will continue to be, revival activities throughout California. Since Fresno and Bakersfield are considered two of the most impoverished major cities in California, more activities are being coordinated to reach those communities, but the major witness will be Moral Mondays in Sacramento (I hope to see you there!).
Many of our churches will have baptisms on Pentecost, or at least a renewal of the Baptismal vows. In our reflections on the covenant, let us pray for the Spirit’s renewal as look at all the promises we make. Let us pray for the work of the Poor People’s Campaign and all work work for justice. Let us reflect especially on the covenant as we are asked:
“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” and
“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.