Ash Wednesday Prayer Service of Repentance Outside the White House

When: Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from Noon-1:00 p.m.

Where: White House (north side on Pennsylvania Ave.)

“The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15)
“A Church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what Gospel is that”? – Archbishop Oscar Romero
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time for personal and societal repentance, radical conversion, renewal and transformation. Living under the brutal occupation of the Roman empire, Jesus declared: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15) Living in the U.S. empire, which is responsible for so much needless death and suffering in our world, we need to heed Jesus’ proclamation now more than ever!

On Ash Wednesday people from the faith-based peace and justice community in the D.C. area will hold a prayer service in front of the White House to call for repentance and conversion of ourselves, our society and our churches to the Gospel way of justice, nonviolence and a reverence for all life and creation.

Seeking to eradicate what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism, we call for an end to corporate domination and systemic exploitation, racism and discrimination; debt forgiveness for poor countries, justice for the poor and all immigrants; an end to torture, indefinite detention and the mass incarceration complex; and for the abolition of war and the conversion of our war-based economy to one centered on serving the common good, alleviating poverty and protecting our sacred earth.

During this Lent, we are especially mindful of our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel mandates of love, mercy and justice and to nonviolently resist the hate-filled, fear driven and destructive executive orders of the new Trump administration. We commit ourselves to ending all forms of racial hatred. We denounce the demonizing and targeting of Muslims, especially the travel ban against Muslim refugees. We deplore the proposed expansion of a Border Wall and plans to detain and deport immigrants. We renounce the resumption of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and call for its cancellation. We are encouraged by all who are resisting the Trump Agenda. We stand in solidarity with sisters and brothers worldwide who are striving to create the beloved community.

We call on the U.S. to repent for the violence, death and suffering that it has inflicted on other countries, most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. We also call on the U.S. to reject the way of revenge and retaliation as a response to conflict and to find ways to make peace with the Islamic State instead of bombing them. We call, too, on the U.S. to halt all arms sales worldwide and to demand an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. And we call for the closure of the nearly 1,000 U.S. military bases worldwide, including Guantanamo and new bases being constructed in Jeju Island, S. Korea and Okinawa, Japan.

As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has now moved the “doomsday clock” to two and a half minutes to midnight, because climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday, we call for urgent action to be taken to end the climate crisis, safeguard the environment and abolish all nuclear weapons. We also call for an end to U.S. military intervention worldwide, for an end to the U.S. militarization of space, and for the elimination of all weapons–from guns to killer drones.

Let us begin Lent together by joining in this important Ash Wednesday witness as we strive together to make God’s reign of love, justice and peace a reality.

Ashes will be blessed and distributed. Please join us.

For More Info Contact Art Laffin:
Published in: on February 19, 2017 at 6:13 pm  Leave a Comment