To listen to this dialogue sermon between Pastor Brooks and Robert Goss of Veterans for Peace, click here.
On October 22nd, the faith community united with the labor community and demonstrators from Occupy Portland to hold an economic justice rally in downtown Vancouver. Hundreds of demonstrators marched from Portland to Vancouver across the I-5 bridge as they brought attention to issues faced by poor and working people. The march ended at noon in Esther Short Park across the street from the Hilton Hotel where the workers are currently pushing for higher wages and better benefits. At the rally, speakers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers also spoke and told about the issues being faced by their respective unions. Speakers additionally advocated against cuts to social security, medicare, and medicaid. What follows is the text of an invocation for the rally given by Pastor Brooks:
For our worship service on October 23rd, we will welcome Robert Goss to our church as he joins Pastor Brooks for a dialogue during the sermon. Goss is a veteran of the Vietnam War in which he served as a medic in the Army. In 2004, he joined Veterans for Peace to advocate for an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Goss works at Portland State University. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and three sons.
In February of 2012, a coalition of faith communities in Southwest Washington along with Equal Rights Washington, the Community of Welcoming Congregations, and the Religious Coalition for Equality will sponsor “The Love for All March for Marriage Equality.” This march will serve as a means by which people of all faiths and persuasions can publicly declare (1) that they affirm, bless, and celebrate marriage for couples regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation and (2) that they call upon the state of Washington to make into law civil marriage for same-sex couples. The march will begin in Vancouver on February 9th and end on the front steps of state Capitol in Olympia on February 16th. Below is an overview of the motivations for the march, its logistics, and its opportunities for participation.