View Full Version : Weekly Prayers for the Equality Riders
03-09-2007, 02:55 PM
This thread is for the prayer leaders to post the weekly riders who we are praying for along with a suggested group prayer. Those who are not leaders, please post in the commentary thread (http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2362).
03-09-2007, 11:41 PM
Week 1 of the Equality Ride
Blog from the Busses:Throughout this travel day, it’s been so interesting to watch drivers’ and pedestrians’ reactions to the bus. Some people twisted around in their seats to keep staring and reading as they passed. Some folks waiting for a bus pointed and smiled and chatted to each other. A car full even gave a rousing one-finger salute. It’s amazing to me that even while I’m asleep on this bus, I’m potentially a part of a conversation. We are activism in constant motion. We are constant activism in motion. We won’t stop.
Tad Dansby - West Bus
Prayer for Week 1:
Great Spirit, source of life and lover of all you have made,
We beseech you on behalf of your gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children and all others who find themselves on the margins of society,
Flood us with your love, warm us in your embrace, uphold us with your strength,
Be with the Soulforce Equality Riders as they take your love to those who would exclude us, who may even hate us,
Warm the hearts and open the minds of those on the college campuses to whom the Soulforce riders bring the message of your all-inclusive love, that together we may build new bridges between all your children;
You, who are the beginning and end of their pilgrimages and ours, protect our Riders and bring them safely home to us and to you, rejoicing in the love you have for all of us.
We pray this in all your holy names.
This weeks schedule:
East Bus - March 8-16
March 8-9 - Dordt College, Sioux Center IA
March 12 - Central Bible College Springfield, MO
3 March 14-15 Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, OK
West bus - March 8-16
March 8-9 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
2 March 12-13 Wisconsin Lutheran College Milwaukee, WI
3 March 15-16 MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, KS
Pictured below are Jacob Reitan, founder of the ER; Alexey Bulokhov, Co-coordinator of the West Route; Haven Herrin, Co-coordinator of the West Route; Jarret Lucas Co-coordinator of the East Route; and Katie Higgins, Co-coordinator of the East Route.
Please keep them in prayer this week. We will be posting the pictures of eight different riders each week, four from East Route and four from the West Route.
03-16-2007, 06:49 PM
How boring the ride can be.
How old the tedium of traveling.
How exciting to arrive.
How devastating the rejection.
How exhilirating to connect with a student.
How exhausting the highs and the lows.
Heavenly Father/Mother, watch over these your children young and
old, that they may rejoice in your love for them as they bring
the Soulforce message of love, peace and nonviolence to the
colleges on this week's itinerary.
Buoy them up when their spirits flag.
Console them when they are lonely or homesick.
Nourish them when the food is less than ideal.
Replenish their stamina when another hour on the bus seems
Open their hearts and minds to the people they encounter on
their journey so that it is you whom their words convey, your
love which their eyes shine forth, your peace which their direct
action communicates. Hold their hands when they're afraid and
send them joy when they succeed. At the end of each day, comfort
them with a sense of holy accomplishment.
We link our prayers with theirs for the emergence of peace in
our world. All this we ask in your many holy names.
Amen. BenL East Bus
Joshua Polycarpe, Shawn O'Neill, Amanda Harris, Dean Genth
Jillian Nye, Emil Pohlig, Kelsey Pacha, Wick Thomas
East Bound Bus: March 17 - March 23 2007
3/19/07 Baylor University, Waco, TX
3/22/07 Mississippi College, Clinton, MS
West Bound Bus: March 17 - March 23, 2007
3/21 & 22 - Brigham Young University, Provo UT
West Bus Blog:
Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 by Kourt Osborn
Standing on the sidewalk in front of Wisconsin Lutheran College, for eight hours, I gazed at the administration building facing me, towering over me, and overpowering my fellow riders and me.
I stood in vigil, sang, and sat at a resource table to provide dialogue and information to Wisconsin Lutheran students. Only three students approached me to talk, but their words re-assured me that this is a conversation that needs to happen, and that the students want it to happen.
While I stood in vigil, other riders went off-campus to have a meeting with Wisconsin Lutheran students and faculty. A lot of the riders came back from that meeting with the same feelings that many of us experienced during our vigil.
I prepare myself for tomorrow’s civil disobedience and hope that my dedication to non-violence is not only a dedication, but a submission to it. I hope that my actions will provide truth, hope, and love to the students and faculty that need it.
East Bus Blog:
Monday, March 12th, 2007 by Abigail Reikow
It has only been over a week since we began and I already miss my family. That feeling of loss, however, was rectified today when the Equality Riders arrived at the First Unitarian Universalist Church here in Springfield, Missouri. We were welcomed to their congregation this morning, greeted with smiles and affirmed with a service titled “The Inherent Worth & Dignity of Me.” Together we sang, shared stories, and were even the privileged audience of a poetry reading from one of the congregation’s members. While my family rests miles away, it is comforting to know that family I had never met rests within pocketed communities that punctuate the plains of the Midwest....
I looked around and realized how long it has been since I have been in a church that felt like home. I have spent half my life as a member of numerous congregations but always feeling like an outcast, even as a heterosexual. At twenty-two years old I am, after today, reconsidering my stances on serving as a member of a spiritual congregation.
We returned to the church later this evening for a candle light vigil that Equality Riders opened in a singing of “Amazing Grace.” Our directors led a discussion concerning relentless non-violence and civil disobedience for those members who demonstrated interested in visiting Central Bible College with us tomorrow morning. This congregation, in realizing the lack of welcome we may possible face, will send some of its own members to stand beside us tomorrow outside school parameters. To emphasize our mission, philosophy, and the necessity of this movement, the directors revisited the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King by reading passages from “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” I turned around in my pew to witness the movement of spiritual energy that fluctuated throughout the room, finding comfort in the expression of a common conviction: truth is found in movement and transformation requires tension.
The congregation watched us as we lit candles, singing “We Shall Overcome” while each rider used the candle of the other to light their own. Standing before the faces of this new-found family, within the glow of my fellow riders, I thought to myself, “And to think that all this light was born from a single flame.”
03-22-2007, 08:12 PM
Loving Creator, transform the violence and hatred within us into seeds of peace and love for all humanity.
When we meet individuals who oppose us in person or online, grant us the ability to discern the human faces behind the political positions and recognize your likeness in them.
When we put forward our heart-felt beliefs, keep us humble enough to realize that not all who hear them will accept them.
When we attempt to walk the way of peace, guide us whenever possible into a path of reconciliation.
Be with the Soulforce Equality Riders as they sow seeds of peace among the college communities they visit this week. Keep them from becoming disheartened when their efforts meet resistance or seem to fail outright. Help them to remember that the principles they embody speak more eloquently than any scripted words they could use.
Keep the riders safe as they try to spread the message of acceptance for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Help them to return love for hatred and acceptance for rejection. Bring them back to us, their families and their communities rooted in your love and even more firmly dedicated to the principles of nonviolence.
We ask all these things in your many holy names.
Curtis Peterson, Robin Reynolds, Greg Johnson, Bronwen Tomb
Cylest Brooks, Justin Hager, Tab Dansby, Jessica Kalup
West Bus: 3/24-3/31
3/26 & 27 - Pepperdine University, Malibu, Ca.
East Bus: 3/24-3/31
3/26 - Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky
3/28 - University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY
3/30 - Samford Univ., Birmingham, AL
East Bus Blog- Jessica Kalup
The Brigham Young University Honor Code reads: Advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle (whether implied or explicit) or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code.
As demonstrated above, the Honor Code is unclear in its policy toward LGBT students and their allies. What exactly is homosexual conduct and, aside from genders involved, how does homosexual conduct differ from heterosexual conduct? As a straight ally, where are the lines for me? Can I celebrate the loving relationship between two same-gender partners? Can I participate in a rally? Can I wear a rainbow, even as a small pin on my purse?
03-30-2007, 08:53 AM
YOU CONTINUE TO CALL ME:
A MEDITATION ON LUKE 19:1-10
Gracious & loving God,
you continue to call at our homes, schools, and places of labor,
Daily you pass under our sycamore tree saying,
“Come down, for today I must abide at your house,”
Like Zacchaeus, may we have the courage to journey with you
into new hope & joyful service.
May we come down from the safe places of
ideology, theology and academics.
May we come down from the defensive notions of
race, creed, color, orientation, gender and class.
May we come down from the dividing lines of denominations & sects.
May we come down from the anguish & failures of the past.
May we come down & live in the aliveness of possibility
and not in the despair of human liability.
May we come down and no longer view our service to others
from the safe distances of false human security.
And when we have come down to walk with you and one another,
grant us salvation in our serving,
blessing in our generosity to others,
and peace at the end of our journey.
Shine the light of grace & forgiveness into the dark & unseen corners
of our hearts.
May we make room for you.
May your spirit find in each of us a resting place.
By Eugene Blake
Kyle DeVries, Joey Heath, Brandy Daniels, Rachel Loskill
Kourt Osborn, Brian Murphy, Aaron Lauer, Bill Carpenter
4/2 Covenant College, Lookout Mtn, GA
4/4 Bob Jones Univ., Greenville, S.C.
4/1 & 2 Fresno Pacific Univ., Fresno, CA
4/5 George Fox Univ., Newberg, OR
04-06-2007, 03:46 PM
Amanda Matthias, Bram Wispelwey, Abigail Reikow, Michael "Enku" Ide
Allison Eby, Emily VanKley, Jonathan Hilbrands, Michael Cramer
God, bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and
superficial relationships, so that You will live deep in our hearts.
God, bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people and the earth so that we will work for justice, equality and peace.
God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer so that we will reach out our hands to comfort them and change their pain into joy.
God bless us with the foolishness to think that we can make a difference in the world, so that we will do the things which others say cannot be done.
A Variation on a Franciscan Prayer
4/10 Montreat College, Montreat, N.C.
4/12 Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, VA
4/13 Messiah College, Grantham, Pa.
4/11 Seattle Pacific Univ., Seattle, WA
4/11 Northwest Univ., Kirkland, WA
4/13 Northwest Nazarene Univ., Nampa, ID
Blog from West Bus: Fresno Pacific; Justin Hager
At this final meeting, I felt sorrow and pain that in a room of such amazing and intelligent people, I was unable to fully express the damaging effects that their policies have on LGBT people; sorrow and pain that despite a great day of dialogue, there was still a separation of our two communities; but mostly, sorrow and pain at knowing that while I had a good day, was well fed, and had the opportunity to have my voice heard, so many others around the country and even on FPU campus had not.
Dialogue is a great step, and it’s commendable to be open to conversation, but regardless of the dialogue that is happening, people are still dying. I commend FPU on being open to this conversation and for showing us Christian hospitality, but I remind FPU and all of those reading this blog that real people–your friends, relatives, family members, acquaintances, and co-workers–are suffering, some even dying, every day because they are not allowed to live the life that God has intended for them.
I can only hope that the dialogue that occurred at FPU will lead to the creation of a space for LGBT students to be true to themselves.
Blog from East Bus: Covenant College, Bronwen Tomb
Yesterday morning the Equality Ride drove up a windy mountain road to Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. It was a beautiful place, with morning mist and a now routine scene of police cars and officers lined up in anticipation of our arrival.
We lined up at the curb and stood looking up the hill at a distant hedge with little student faces peeking over... After a while a couple guys walked down and struck up a conversation. A couple more followed. Eventually we had fifty or so—at least two Covenant students for each rider.
Jarrett Lucas, Adam Britt, Rachel Loskill and I read the covenant aloud and then walked toward the administrator who had specifically made the arrangements for the day. We didn’t make it more than twenty feet before the police caught our wrists and put the flexi-cuffs on. We rode down the winding road in the back of a van with little circular holes in the door. I have heard that Covenant students carried on the discussion all day in a local café.
The four of us got booked into jail quickly, and settled into two cells (one male and one female). The cell was a cinderblock room with a high ceiling, florescent lights, a toilet, and a concrete bench. For the most part it was just me and Rachel alone for 21 hours. This morning a judge magistrate made out our bonds and the bus came to pick us up. We went through the gauntlet of hugs and hit the road again, and now we’re driving to Greensville, South Carolina to visit Bob Jones University.
04-13-2007, 06:05 PM
In this season that celebrates your love for all your children, we humbly ask that you would direct our individual pilgrimages into the ways of peace and freedom.
We especially ask you to look with favor on the Soulforce Equality Riders, who are witnessing to your love for the transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay students at the colleges they visit this week.
Support the Riders in their loneliness.
Strengthen their resolve when they meet strident opposition.
Comfort them with peace when they encounter violent words and actions.
Send your word through theirs into the hearts and minds of their listeners.
Bring them home safely with the knowledge that even one mind turned, one heart softened was worth their arduous journeys.
Strengthen our own commitment to justice, so that we may step beyond the boundaries of our own fears and join the cloud of witnesses you have called as your servants to justice.
We ask these things in all your holy names.
4/16 - 17 Brigham Young Univ-Idaho, Rexburg, ID
4/19 - 20 Yellowstone Baptist College, Billings, MT
4/16 - 17 Gordon College, Wenham, MA
4/19 - 20 Cedarville Univ., Cedarville, OH
Vince Pancucci, Matt Hill Comer, Amy Scott, Adam Britt
Brandon Kneefel, Rebecca Buck, Cray Gondek, Amy Brainer-Medellin
04-20-2007, 04:25 PM
Angel Collie, Casey Chandler-Alexander, Vince Cervantes, Stephen Krebs
Matthew Kulisch, Belfin Bautista, Jeremy Gabbard, Dan Seda.
As our Soulforce riders begin this last week of their journey, we give you thanks for their courage and tenacity. Clearly your Spirit has been with them throughout this long and amazing journey, for hearts have been opened and lives have been changed. Your abundant love has carried them when they were tired and weary through this long journey.
Continue to sustain them as they come together again in Mankato for their last college visit and help them as they debrief to recognize the wondrous work they have accomplished.
Watch over them as they return home and help them to carry all the lessons they've learned home to their own communities, continuing to give hope that your love will overcome hatred. Give them rest and give them an understanding of the path ahead for them. For the journey to justice still has such a long way to go.
We trust in your love and inspiration. And we continue to ask you to give us all the strength to become the change we seek. We pray this in your many names.
4/23 Trinity Bible College, Ellendale, ND
4/25 Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN
4/26 Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN
4/23 Cornerstone University, Grand Rapis, MI
4/24 Calvin College, Grand Rapis, MI
4/26 Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN
West Bus Blog:
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 by Tab Dansby
Rexburg’s slogan is America’s Family Community, so we held pictures of our families as we stood in a vigil line outside of BYU-Idaho’s campus today. These were great ways to start conversation with the students who came to speak with us.
Several community members joined us. One woman had grown up in Rexburg and came back to participate in the vigil today. She and the Rexburg chief of police realized they had been next door neighbors when she was a child. She also recognized our sole major heckler as a teacher she’d had in 4th and 6th grades.
In the afternoon, eight riders walked onto campus holding their family pictures. There was definitely a hush as they entered. Though riders have been arrested before, this was the first one I’d been able to see in action. I found myself getting a little teary-eyed as one by one, they put their pictures down on the walkway and were led away by BYU-Idaho security.
East Bus Blog:
Monday, April 16th, 2007 by Casey Chandler-Alexander
I was overwhelmed with pride when the 2007 Equality Ride received a Proclamation of Recognition by the New York City Council and House of Representatives. A friend of mine, one I have had since pre-school, came to support us, and came up to me at the end of the presentation in tears, thanking us for everything we have been doing for the GLBTQ community. This was a common greeting from most we encountered that night–just a feeling of overwhelming support for and recognition of our commitment to social justice.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO JOINED IN OUR PRAYER CIRCLE FOR OUR EQUALITY RIDERS
Prayer Warriors Team
(Dave, Ben, Kara)
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