Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Circle of Protection Vigil: Prayer, Songs and Letters

There were 30 to 35 people gathered at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque for our Circle of Protection prayer vigil on the second Saturday of October.  Just as we did with a similar vigil last year, we had intended to start outside on the front porch of the church with candles and the song Come and Fill  But the wind gusts were too strong and they would have extinguished our candles.  So we decided to start inside in the chapel where we could better center ourselves. 

Surely enough, the calm, quiet wind of the Spirit was present inside in our prayers and reflections and songs from Taizé. We reflected on hunger, poverty, justice and inequality, just as we did last year.  And the Circle of Protection campaign remained the focus of our prayers and reflections.

In our reflections, we put some emphasis on the mini campaigns in Bread for the World's 2012 Offering of Letters.  And we invited representatives or volunteers from partner organizations to join us in the reflections: New Mexico Oxfam Action Corps, Roadrunner Food Bank, Medical Mission Board, Interfaith Power and Light (representing the National Council of Churches) and Sojourners.

And just as we did last year, we followed our vigil with an opportunity for action.  In 2011, we signed letters to five individuals seeking to represent the New Mexico First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Afterwards, we held face-to-face meetings with each of those candidates, who had yet to square off in their respective party's primary election.

The letters this year were to  the candidates who won their primaries for the U.S. Senate and for the First Congressional District.  (And for good measure,we included a third-party Senate candidate and two declared write-in candidates).  We have arranged to bring the letters to the campaign headquarters of most of the candidates on Wednesday, October 24. We have requested a meeting with a ranking member of each campaign.  Stay tuned for more details.
A heartfelt thanks to Rene Ronquillo for spending the evening snapping all the beautiful images contained in this blog post.   
Michaela Bruzzese (Sojouners)

Donna Marlowe (Roadrunner Food Bank)

Sharon Barefoot served as a nurse in Haiti
Sister Joan Brown performs liturgical dance
Kalen Olsen and Jasmine McBeath talk about Oxfam's GROW Campaign
Betty and Will Drobnik share Taizé song sheet.
The reception featured fair-trade baked goods
We started the vigil with candles
Rebecca Hemphill accompanied the Taizé songs with her cello.

Taizé musicians Jon Roybal, Mary Boehm, Terese Bridges, Joelle Chase, Rebecca Hemphill

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