Members of the “Protest Chaplains” travelled to New York to meet the Occupy Wall Street movement. Dressed in white robes, carrying signs that read, “Blessed are the poor” the chaplains are supporting the 99% protest movement.
A member of the Boston-based group, Marisa Egerstrom had this to say, “I’m with a group called the Protest Chaplains, and we have spent time at the New York and Boston protests, tending to the spiritual needs of protesters. We’ve found no shortage of work to do. Over and over, I hear the chaplains saying they’ve never had such an opportunity to put their faith into action. Coming from a mix of mainline and evangelical backgrounds, we’ve set up an interfaith spirituality tent in Boston where protesters are constantly meditating, leading workshops and holding services in Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and other traditions.”
On CNN’s belief blog, Egerstrom writes, “For Christians, the Occupy movement amounts to an invitation from people outside of the church to join them in prophetic witness to the failure of a hyper individualistic consumerist society. Will Christians find the humility to accept the welcome and join?”
The Occupy Wall Street movement affects many. As Egerstrom pointed out, ‘the Boston camp is full of people who have lost homes to foreclosure, whose unemployment applications have gone unprocessed for weeks and whose retirements have been absorbed by the banks.”
Who are the Protest Chaplains? They are a group of faithful men and women, mostly of the Christian faith. Based in Boston with ties to the Harvard Divinity School and the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, they represent many of their local churches.
The Protest Chaplains want to change things. Many of them have been involved in organizing various campaigns. They are participating in the Occupy Wall Street Movement by holding prayer vigils. They are singing, chanting, and offering blessings for individuals.
As they join the movement their goal is to bring a message of peace, reconciliation and reform. They’re welcoming all faiths to join them. Their invitation states, “We are all sisters and brothers united by love. Wear your liturgical garb; choir robes, prayer shawls, and bring the sacred into the heart of the protest. We’re standing on the side of love.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow as more people get involved. Last week in New York, hundreds of students walked out of classes to show their support.
Entering its fourth week, this movement has spread across the nation. Widespread demonstrations are being held in major cities including Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C. as well as many others across the country.
The question is now, where will this lead? They want change. They want a fair economy. Their voices have been heard, with one common theme, restoring balance within the economy. Will it make a difference?