Nov. 6 Sunday Preview, from The Rev. Kaji Douša
Children of the Oceti Sakowin
or “Seven Council Fires”
I just got off of a powerful prayer call. Leaders across the Disciples of Christ were led by General Minister and President Sharon Watkins as we gathered in Indianapolis, Kentucky and across the country to pray for a little group of us: three clergy. But, of course, that prayer goes out to many more. Because the little group of 3 (or more, since many more are quiet with their activism) swells to over 360 when we look to the wider church, and, of course, if we were to consider our hosts, the numbers would be in the thousands. I speak of the people of faith who have decided to respond to the call for clergy to come to join the Water Protectors at Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas.
For so many years I’ve lived with the assumption that, had I been alive during some particularly “hot” moments in our nation’s history, I would’ve been on the right side of the issue. Had I been alive during the times of enslaving Africans, I would’ve been an abolitionist, I hope. Had I been alive during the struggles for freedom in the 1950s and 60s, I would’ve shown up at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, at the March on Washington, I hope. This call to clergy feels like such a moment. I pray that you will join the Disciples who prayed for us as we take this pilgrimage of solidarity on Thursday.
Part of what the people are asking for is a protection of sacred burial grounds. And this is especially poignant for us as Christians as we gather to give thanks to God for all of the Saints who have gone ahead of us in glory. All Saints’ Sunday is this week, and as we join in this commemoration, we are reminded of the many ways that we stand on the holy ground our ancestors prepared for us.
Our text this week comes from the Sermon on Plain in Luke’s Beatitudes. It reminds us of the many unexpected blessings Jesus brings.
My invitation for you for this Sunday starts there: are you ready for the unexpected blessings of your life? Are you ready for God to bless you and the rest of the world in ways that exceed your imagining?
Join us this Sunday as we explore just that. I imagine that I will have many a story to tell from my time on Holy Ground in the Dakotas. Bring the friend you know needs to hear it.
And please stay afterwards as many will gather to remember the life of a beloved member of the community, Ann Canady.
Finally, later in the evening we will celebrate long-awaited the ordination of Minister Sydney Avent! Please come to share in this great time of joy.
I can’t wait to see you all.