Greetings from Maryland, site of this morning’s 3.6 magnitude earthquake. Californians would hardly have noticed it, but for us it was quite a surprise. Most of us awoke at 5:04 a.m. feeling our houses shake for about ten seconds.
I’ve been thinking lately about the importance of allies – people of advantage who stand in solidarity with others in need:
Straight allies of gay people: Folks like my friend Jay Bakker, and informative websites like this one.
Christian allies of Jewish and Muslim people: Like the good people of Sabeel. (See a recent report from Sabeel after the jump)
Jewish allies of Palestinian people: Like ICAHD and Birthright Unplugged.
Immigrant/Colonial-descendant allies of Indigenous People: We need a lot more of these!
Citizen allies of immigrants: We need a lot more of these too!
Human allies of environments, ecosystems, and endangered species: thankfully, more and more of us are joining this group.
At the heart of my faith is the good news that God is an ally of all creation, including sinners, failures, losers, washouts, weaklings, and bumblers like me. To whom can we embody God’s gracious solidarity today? Living as gracious allies will shake up the world in the most positive ways possible.

From Sabeel

The New York Times reported that in the past decade the American Treasury Department has approved $200,000,000 of tax-free charitable donations to Israeli settlements. Such support funds building projects, weapons and security equipment, and makes withdrawal even more difficult. We pray that support for illegal activities such as these will be ended and all governments will uphold justice.
According to a recent report by the Israeli organization B’Tselem, 500,000 Israeli settlers currently control 42% of the West Bank. Settlements rob Palestinians of land and resources, restrict movement, choke economic development, entrench the military occupation, and make impossible the establishment of a self-determining Palestinian state. We pray for an end to imperialism. O Lord, hear us.
Around the world, people appear to be more aware than ever of the need for justice in Palestine and Israel. We are thankful for this change and pray that it will continue to grow. May we not lose hope for peace in this land