Evangelical Lutheran solidarity with pro-Sandra Bland vigil in Texas, USA


This video from Texas, USA says about itself:

Pastor and activist Hannah Adair Bonner gives a tour of the Waller County Jail where questions still remain over the death of Sandra Bland.

From the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Louisiana, USA:

A Letter In Solidarity With the Sandra Bland Vigil Participants in Waller County

17 August 2015

Throughout history threats and acts of intimidation have been used to oppose those who call for justice in the lives of people who are marginalized, imprisoned, oppressed, or losing their lives. As people of faith, we gather at the foot of the cross of Jesus to resist this oppression. We join our voices to the voices of all who seek a fair and transparent investigation of the death of Sandra Bland. We say, with them, “Black Lives Matter.”

Recently, people of every faith, and those with no faith, have gathered in front of the Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas to proclaim that “Sandra Bland’s life mattered. It still matters. Sandy still speaks.” Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, a United Methodist pastor, has been a faithful, prayerful, steady presence in front of the jail, along with the other conscientious participants.

On Sunday, August 9, the crowd was larger than the daily gathering. Rather than respond graciously to those exercising their constitutional rights to petition the government and gather for prayer, Waller County Sheriff Smith demeaned the protestors. He later said to Rev. Bonner, “Why don’t you go back to the church of Satan that you run?” Since then, we understand the sheriff’s office has taken other actions to intimidate the protestors standing in vigil for Sandra Bland.

Rev. Bonner and those with her are a living witness to what it means to be the church. They are working to tear down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism while building bridges of unconditional love. Their presence in these vigils embodies what it means to be Christ in the world.

We stand in solidarity with Rev. Bonner, and all who gather outside the Waller County Jail to protest and pray peacefully. They are bravely doing Christ’s work. Their peaceful actions demonstrate how Christians respond to injustice with love. We join with them in committing ourselves and our prayers to the important work of building bridges to those divided from us by reasons of hatred, fear, racism, injustice, and oppression.

Finally, and most importantly, we remember and proclaim that Sandra Bland was a beloved child of God. Her life mattered to her family. It mattered to her friends. It mattered to God, just as her life, and all black lives, matter to us. We, therefore, urge the Sheriff’s Department to act with restraint, compassion, and kindness toward all who are gathered outside the Waller County Jail to bear witness to Sandra Bland’s life.

Sincerely,

Bishop Michael Rinehart

Please email the synod office with the following information, if you’d like to be added to this letter of support: Name, City, State, Faith (if applicable)

Rev. Sandra Barnes, Slidell, LA, ELCA
Rev. Jennifer E. Boyd, Danbury, CT, ELCA
Rev. Margaret C. Casper, Galena, IL, ELCA
Rev. Andrew V. Chavanak, Falls City, NE, ELCA
Rev. Michael Coffey, Austin, TX, ELCA
Rev. Kathleen Davies, PCUSA
Fredericka DeBerry, Brenham, TX
Diana Edis, Columbia, SC, Lutheran
Paula Fox, Bryan, TX
Rev. Brad Fuerst, Houston, TX, ELCA
Rev. Kristin Galle, Spring, TX, UCC
Rev. Lura Groen, Houston, TX, ELCA
Amy Gulliksen, Carrollton, TX, ELCA
Megan Hansen, Conroe, TX, PC(USA) Ruling Elder
Rev. Barbara Harrison Condon, Idaho Falls, ID, ELCA
Beth Hartfiel, Houston, TX, ELCA
Rev. Peder Hinderlie, Milnor, ND, ELCA
Rev. Nancy Jaster, Woodhull, IL, ELCA
Rev. Sandra Jones, Aurora, IL
Rev. Ann Koopmann, TX, ELCA
Rev. Jennifer Shimota Krushas, High Point, NC, ELCA
Rev. Dr. Duane Larson, Princeton, IA, ELCA
Rev. Michael Lawrence-Weden, San Antonio, TX
Rev. Paul Lubold, Pittburgh, PA, ELCA
Rev. Blair Lundborg, Conroe, TX, ELCA
Andrea Martinez, Houston, TX
Rebecca McDonald, Cypress, TX, ELCA
Rev. Br. Chris Markert, Galveston, TX, ELCA
Rev. Cora Lee Meier, Mesa, AZ, ELCA
Rev. Kerry Nelson, Houston, TX, ELCA
Rev. Diane M. Olson, Milwaukee, WI, ELCA
Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austi, Seattle, WA, ELCA
Rev. Charles Parnell, Brenham, TX, ELCA
Br. Michael Patterson, OLF, Cypress, TX, ELCA
Rev. Mindy Roll, College Station, TX, ELCA
Susan Ruch, The Woodlands, TX
Rev. Karl Runser, Lock Haven, PA, ELCA
Rebecca Shields, Houston, TX
Laura Sims, Arlington, TX, ELCA
Joanna Thornton, Houston, TX, ELCA
Rev. Kim Truebenbach, Giltersville, PA, ELCA
Donna Vass, Houston, TX, ELCA
Joe Watt, Beaumont, TX
Rev. Donna M. Wright, Cheltenham, PA, ELCA
Rev. Edward Wunderlich, Waller, TX, ELCA

Sandra Bland’s Family Says They Are “Infuriated” By Arrest Video: here.

USA: Black August, a month of political prisoner activism and commemoration, can help remind us of the nation’s exponentially expanding racist prison system: here.

Baptists arrested in Missouri, USA


Members of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America delegation that traveled to Ferguson, Mo. Four were arrested in a civil disobedience demonstration. (Photo: Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America Facebook page)

After a sheriff in Texas, USA referred to a Methodist preacher as ‘Satanic’ for caring about the death of Sandra Bland, now Baptists arrested for caring about the death of Michael Brown. Maybe ‘Satanists’ to law enforcement as well? [sarcasm off]

From the Baptist Standard in the USA:

August 17, 2015

By Staff / Baptist Standard

Four of the 57 people arrested Aug. 10 in a peaceful protest outside a federal courthouse in St. Louis were part of an eight-member Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America delegation in Ferguson, Mo., there to observe the one-year anniversary of the Aug. 9, 2014, police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan issued a statement saying the arrests were for “obstructing the normal use” of entrances to the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse. They occurred during an “otherwise peaceful and nonviolent” march by about 200 protestors through downtown St. Louis in a day of civil disobedience dubbed “Moral Monday.” BPFNA Executive Director LeDayne McLeese Polaski identified the four arrested delegation members as Martha Kearse, associate minister at St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.; Tremaine Sails-Dunbar, a senior at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tenn.; Barbara Smalley-McMahan, a pastoral counselor and American Baptist minister active in previous Moral Monday protests in North Carolina; and Alexis Tardy, a recent graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and former intern in the office of Congressman André Carson, D-Ind.

British Christians against Trident nuclear weapons


This video says about itself:

2 March 2015

Blockade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Burghfield, West Berkshire, where the UK’s Trident nuclear warheads are assembled.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Christian protesters blockade Burghfield nuclear facility

Tuesday 31st March 2015

A GROUP of Christian activists blocked the entrance to Britain’s main nuclear arsenal yesterday, chaining themselves together, praying and demanding an end to the Trident nuclear programme.

Lying in the gateway to Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the anti-nuclear campaigners marked the beginning of Holy Week and of the general election campaign period.

As a final decision on the renewal of Trident is expected to be taken in 2016, protesters also called on all parties to state their intentions on the matter.

Speaking from the Berkshire site, campaigner Emma Anthony told the Star: “The Parliament dissolves today and we want people to know that during the general election, during the run-up to it, Trident needs to be an issue.

“All parties need to give a statement on Trident in the same way that they are expected to talk about the NHS, immigration, Scotland.

Trident needs to be an election issue — Trident renewal is illegal, so we are trying to prevent it from happening.”

She added that Trident represented “ransacking God’s creation — it’s designed to cause indiscriminate harm.”

Ms Anthony and six other campaigners travelled from across the country to disrupt production at the nuclear site for over three hours.

The demonstration at Burghfield — which finished with hymns being sung — followed an ecumenical vigil at the neighbouring AWE Aldermaston facilities the day before, which was Palm Sunday.

The loose network of Christian activists of all denominations said the timing of the protests was also important because, in Holy Week, “Jesus turned over tables in the temple, confronting the political and military powers of his day.”

Campaigner Jo Frew said: “Nuclear weapons are a threat to everything I believe in: peace, justice, and the wellbeing of creation.

“We see in Jesus’s actions a clear imperative that faith compels us to act.

“That is why we are here today to call for an end to the atomic weapons industry and for Trident not to be replaced.”