The transition to the new house has been exciting and exhausting. There has been so much to do – hauling, unpacking, setting up our utilities, gathering furniture, and beginning to think about how to decorate. Soon, we will begin getting around to the exterior maintainance that needs doing. In spite of all of the work to do, I suspect that our move has been easier than most. We have had a lot of support from our friends here in the city, especially folks at the William Penn House. Even after the move, Faith spends much of her time back at William Penn House (she works there, after all!), and I visit on a regular basis. We both continue to be part of that community, though the form of our participation is changing. Our relationship with William Penn House is a source of strength.
Through the end of 2011, Occupy Church was primarily a solidarity effort within the McPherson Square camp. However, with the dawn of the new year, Occupy Church has begun to move in new directions. As the camping aspect of the Occupy movement has become increasingly marginal, Occupy Church has started to focus its efforts beyond the encampments. We are now holding regular organizing meetings on Saturday mornings, as well as larger, monthly gatherings for everyone who is interested in seeing what a broad-based, ecumenical Christian effort towards economic justice might look like.
In this sense, “Occupy Church” represents our sense that God is calling us to embody Kingdom values in the world. Far from blessing the insatiable greed of Wall Street and K Street, we believe that God is calling us into a life of selfless giving. Imitating the prophetic life of our crucified Savior, we feel compelled to draw attention to the idolatry of a country where Money and Market are worshiped as gods, and the self-denying love of Jesus is mocked as foolish idealism, at best.
For this reason, Occupy Church cannot only be a witness by the Church to the world. On the contrary, the Church itself must be re-occupied by the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose place in our community has been usurped by false idols of gold, silver and bronze. Occupy Church represents a call for radical reformation within the Church, as well as in the wider society. Both within the Church and beyond it, we feel called to carry the good news that Jesus has for the poor, and the hard work of repentance that will be necessary to change our worldview from one ruled by money to one in which we are embraced by the power of Love.