As people of faith and spiritual yearnings, we are called to pray and act for peace and justice. At times, our faiths compel us to speak truth to power.

This is the moment in which we must show the greatest possible resolve in rescuing the fundamental values of respect for life and dignity from those who offer empty promises leading to a downward spiral of militarism and domination. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal, and that time has come for us.”

Contact: community@olivebranchinterfaith.org

Photos from Rebirthing King, Rebirthing America

  

Here are some of the photos taken at our inauguration eve event Rebirthing King, Rebirthing America. Click here to browse the album at Flickr, or enjoy the slideshow below.

     

The FundamentaList asks: Can progressive Christians mobilize?

  

We've been scanning the Internet for mentions of last week's wonderful Rebirthing King, Rebirthing America event (photos coming soon) and came across this interesting blog called The FundamentaList by The American Prospect. They've been tracking the religious right for some time, but are now looking at the religious left as well, as we immediately popped onto their radar!

In addition to noting other inauguration-related items (including the Rev. Rick Warren's comparison of himself to Dr. King!) blogger Sarah Posner attended our event last week and had this to report:

Your thoughts on this momentous occasion

  

[Obama at MLK Day]

When Barack Obama was elected as our country's first African-Americanpresident in November, many peace activists raised our voices incelebration. On the FORpeace blog, we discussed our reactions - a lotof joy mixed with some skepticism - about what changes this might bringto Washington, D.C. and to the nation. Today we observe Martin LutherKing Day on the cusp of Obama's inauguration, and the juxtaposition ofthese two events couldn't be more powerful.

King's Speech at Riverside: "Beyond Vietnam"

  

Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence, Martin Luther King, Jr.


delivered 4 April 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

You can also click here to listen to Dr. King delivering the speech and download an MP3 file to replay any time. A great way to share the speech with a group of people.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit. I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

January 19th Event Overview

  

This week, a Facebook page was created for the big "Rebirthing King,Rebirthing America" event that will take place in the nation's Capitolthis coming January. Please join us on Facebook! Also, here is the text of the ad that will appear in next month's issue of Fellowship magazine about the effort (curricula materials to be posted soon):

Rebirthing King, Rebirthing America

  

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, a new President will be inauguratedand begin to work with a new Congress. The day before, Monday January19, is Martin Luther King's Birthday.

The Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership and The Tent ofAbraham, Hagar, and Sarah have undertaken to initiate an effort to makethis extraordinary confluence of dates into a moment of transformation.

We propose that on January 19-20, religious and ethical communitiesand congregations around the country take part in public actionsintended to point America toward fulfilling Dr. King’s vision.

One such action is already under way. In Washington on January 19,the Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership will hold a celebratoryservice and teaching at which Vincent Harding of Iliffe School ofTheology, one of Dr. King's closets advisers; Rev. Michael Kinnamon,general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Dr. SayyidSyeed, general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America;Sammie Moshenberg of the National Council of Jewish Women; Mubarak Awadof nonviolence International; and Rev. William G. Sinkford of theUnitarian Universalist Association are already scheduled to speak.

Why I Am Going To Iran

  
"I should like to be able to love my country and stilllove justice. I don't want any greatness for it, particularly agreatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive bykeeping justice alive."  --Albert Camus

"What"?!!!

"What are you going to Iran for?"

Thatis the response I get from friend, foe, and loved ones alike. Theconversations take a more inquisitive turn when I say that I am leadinga civilian diplomacy mission to Iran on the behalf of the Fellowship ofReconciliation. "What do you hope to accomplish?" they ask.

Updated donation page

  

If you have clikced on the donation link on the left side of our web site recently, you may have noticed that the donation form was broken! We apologize for this problem, and have now set up an improved donation form where you can easily make an online donation of any size to help sustain our interfaith peacework.

I hope you will consider making a contribution, even if it is just $10, to show that there is a real need for this effort and that there is a strong community backing it up. Thank you for your patience and support!

Walk together, Children

  

The need for real dialog, candid debate, and mutual respect amongvarious faith traditions is central to bridging the widening gapbetween religions at home and aboard. The claim that peace sits at thecenter of the Abrahamic faiths begins by "walking together" in thequest for justice. For five years, a group of faithful folks havewalked together in Philadelphia, PA. On May 18th, they will continue tomake the road of hope, peace and justice by walking to a ChristianChurch, Unitarian gathering place, a mosque, and synagogue. Please jointhem. For more information go to: www.interfaithpeacewalk.org

Walk together children and don't you get weary.
There is a great camp meeting in the Promised Land

- Negro Spiritual

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