Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Supporting 16 Religious Leaders Arrested at the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline Site

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

Today was the 32nd day of counting the Omer, one day before Lag B'Omer, which began at sundown, and four weeks and four days on the journey from redemption to revelation.

Today 16 Boston-area religious and spiritual leaders risked arrest in protest of the building of the Spectra pipeline through Boston. This pipeline is fossil fuel infrastructure that isn't needed, that endangers the local community, and that is designed to make more money for its builders with no consideration of the state of the planet and of the local community.

I was not risking arrest, but was one of the people supporting this interfaith group of clergy, serving as an eco-chaplain. 

The morning was spent in interfaith prayer and song, and included powerful personal statements by each of the clergy getting arrested as to why they were present. Every testimony was heartfelt and meaningful. About 75 people accompanied them on their journey. It was a morning filled with love and faith, courage and compassion, spirit and peace. I feel honored and grateful to have been present.

The event was organized and led by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman, with the assistance of Marla Marcum. Two amazing and powerful women!

A Meditation for After the Arrest of Clergy at the West Roxbury Pipeline Construction Site

In the name of all that is sacred in this Universe,
we offer up the gratitude of our hearts,
for the willingness of our spiritual leaders
to stand in the way of destruction in our community
and on our planet.

In the name of all that is holy,
let us focus on our heart,
paying attention to the steady beat within us,
and with all our heart,
let us feel the love we have for all creation;

In the name of all that is strong and gentle,
let us breathe quietly through our hearts, in and out,
and with all our soul,
let us feel the love we have for all creation.

In the name of the mystery of the universe,
let us breathe deeply, in and out,
gathering our love and our gratitude
from the deepest corners of our body and our soul;
with every inch of our being,
let us gather up our love and gratitude,
and send it out into the universe.
Let us send it out to all—
to the leaders who have been arrested,
to the police officers,
to the construction workers,
to the people of this city,
and beyond,
to all that lives and breathes beneath the sun and moon,
to the solid earth beneath our feet,
and to the endless sky above our heads,
let us send out our love
into the Universe.

Let us spread out our arms,
and let us hold this precious planet in our arms,
and give it a giant, heartfelt hug.
Then let us turn our hands
to encircle each other,
and those at a distance,
and let us give everyone
another giant, heartfelt hug.

Let us hold and savor
all the love we feel.

In the name of all that is sacred in this Universe,
we offer our thanks,
and we say, Amen.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network, and a hospice chaplain at CareGroup Parmenter Hospice. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in 2005.