The idea of revivals is far removed from my Quaker experience, but I attended one last night. I rode my bicycle about 6 miles to a large church on the north side of Indianapolis that eventually completely filled with people–a rough estimate would be 700 or so. This is related to the Moral Political Organizing Leadership Institute Summit I attended in August, where Rev William Barber taught us about the national campaign for the Revival: A Time for a Revolution in Moral Values. These events are live streamed and also recorded. You can see last night’s event here.
We are obviously in a time of crisis. The list of injustices goes on and on. Rev Barber and this campaign effectively summarize this as a problem of the “heart”, and this campaign calls us to be the “moral defibrillators” of our time. I am hopeful this is the beginning of something similar to the faith community engaging in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
The initial call to action is to get out the vote for the November elections.
The following is from the Litany, another foreign concept to me, but illustrative:
Leader: Martin Luther King said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal. The truth must be told.”
Today we stand as truth-tellers witnessing to the pain and suffering caused by the injustices within our community and across the country. We gather to declare that we need a moral revival, a radical revolution of values. And we call on the prophets of old from the sacred texts of the world’s religions who proclaimed:
Congregation: “This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3
As with these sacred texts, we, too proclaim revival across this land as we sound the alarm and join hand in hand.
Leader: We join voice with voice until all are heard and arm in arm until all are seen.
All: Hallelujah, Thine the glory.
Hallelujah, Thine the glory.
Revive us again!
Friends, I hope you will find opportunities to join with others in your faith community to engage in this movement. Rev Barber says we need to take our sanctuaries out into the streets, and he has been a great example of that, beginning with the Moral Mondays movement and ever since. This is why I’ve been writing about getting back into the public square.