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    DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, REFLECTION AND RE-ENVISIONING OUR WORLD: 

    A Call to Compassion, Peace and Community

    Held: August 12, 2019 (or day of your choosing)
    International Youth Day (or special day of your choosing)

     

    Welcome  - What gathers us together and global 24-hour gathering of Compassionate Cities (440 initiatives) & Sister Cities (471 members)

    Reading of Proclamation

    Readings by Leaders: 1-3 selected readings from various faith traditions about mourning and grief

    Reading of Charter of Compassion

    Opening Statement 

    (From Leap Over a Wall by Eugene Peterson, Harper One, 1997, or another selection)

    Who will make up for the widespread avoidance of Grief in our society?

    Who will pause to give respect to grief; it’s pervasiveness? It’s legitimacy? 

    We have a style of print and television journalism that reports disaster endlessly and scrupulously: crime and war, famine and flood, political malfeasance and societal scandal. The one virtually fool proof way of getting noticed in our culture is to do something bad. The worse the action the higher the profile.

    In the wake of whatever has gone wrong or whatever wrong has been done, commentators gossip, reporters interview, editors pontificate, Pharisees moralize, then psychological analyses are conducted; political reforms are initiated, academic studies are funded.

    But there is not one line of lament. There is not one line of lament.”

    Litany of Lament and Love

    (Reader #1 – health professional?) Our world and our nation is in the grip of layered trauma. Our country has sustained repeated blows to the heart. On this day dedicated to our children and our children’s children, we remember (call a roll of mass shootings – there are 2100+ in U.S. since Sandy Hook – roll by city, # of deaths & injured being read in San Antonio are those specific to Texas since beginning of 2019 which is 21 occurrences). For Them, we remember and reflect…(add global statistics from other countries)

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #2 – a set of parents) We pause for the countless recognized and unrecognized children and teenagers, families and elders who died of gun violence on street corners and schools, rural communities and retail stores, trailer parks and tenuous situations, barrios and buildings, ghettos and government detentions, across Our Country and around Our Planet. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #3 – a younger person) We pause for the women and children and men killed in domestic violence, by those who should have loved them. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered  “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #4 – someone from the LGBTQI community) We pause for children gay and straight, who were battered and bullied, and who thought suicide was their only refuge. For Them, we remember and we reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

     

    (Reader #5 – a first responder) We pause for First Responders who die a slow and uncelebrated death from trauma, depression and the violence of the street. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #6 – a young person) We pause and cry for young people who have lost their way; who have not been tutored in love; who glory in violence as a way to matter… and we cry for the parents who have lost their children to lives of evil fantasy. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #7 – a faith and/or civic leader) We pause for our faith and civic leaders, who search for the courage to stand up and speak truth to power. For Them, we envision a city and a country that lives up to its highest ideals. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

     

    (Reader #8 – a parent and child) We pause for the many people who have hurt others and taken lives, for the stigma their families bear and for the hope of redemption, bringing peace out of pain, good out of evil, leading us to a restorative healing for all. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    Response – ALL gathered “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #9 – a recent migrant) We pause for those who have died in the wilderness between hostile communities and unwelcoming borders. For Them, we remember and reflect…

    (Response – ALL gathered)  “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Moment of silence for reflection.

    (Reader #10 – a faith and/or civic leader) We lament because we care about those who suffer loss. We lament because we love this World. We lament to bring our total attention to the fact of death because of our actions and our non-actions; and before our collective amnesia hurries us onto the next thing. We lament… if we do not weep, we will change. If we do not cry out, we will no longer feel. If we do not empty out our sadness, our heart will turn to stone. So, we lament, we weep. We will not be ashamed. Life, and Love, deserve our tears. For all peoples on this planet, for ourselves, for Them, we remember and reflect…

    (Response – ALL gathered) “FOR THEM, AND FOR OURSELVES, WE CRY.
    Final moments of silence for reflection.

    Closing Song sung around the World by Sister Cities and Compassionate Cities

    Let There Be Peace on Earth
    And let it begin with me
    Let there be peace on earth
    The peace that was meant to be
    With God as creator
    Family all are we
    Let us walk with each other
    In perfect harmony
    Let peace begin with me
    Let this be the moment now
    With every step I take
    Let this be my solemn vow
    To take each moment and live
    Each moment in peace eternally
    Let There Be Peace on Earth
    And let it begin with me

    Sending Forth (one of the opening leaders – civic and/or faith)

    Words of hope and healing, challenge and encouragement, gratitude and gift of this Day

    Written by Rev. Ann Helmke, Compassionate San Antonio, TX

    © 2019 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.

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