On March 27th, at the same time many people of faith observed Holy Week and/or Passover, the Supreme Court heard the case to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that forbids our federal government from recognizing the loving marriages of same-sex couples.
It is up to the Supreme Court to end the long days of DOMA. But it is up to us, as people of faith, to light the way to justice – standing with those calling for liberation and the end to oppression.
If you took the pledge, please let us know how it went! Click here to send us your story, photos, videos or anything else about your blessing.
HOLY WEEK BLESSING: "A New Command I Give You"
As the Supreme Court weighs whether or not the love lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people share with each other is equal to other types of love – we encourage you offer blessings for same-sex couples, and pray upon the last commandment that Jesus gave during his lifetime:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
– John 13:34-35
Jesus spoke these words during the last supper with his disciples. The new command to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so much you love one another” hold extra weight because they make up the very last commandment Jesus gave during his lifetime. This commandment presents a strong challenge to all of us because this requires a demanding level of love.
If you are a faith leader, we encourage you to link to the Communion Prayer/Prayer for the People/Pastoral prayer.
If you are a person of faith, we encourage you to meditate on these verses.
PASSOVER SEDER RITUAL: How is this Passover Different from all other Passovers?
During your Seder, when you put out the Final Cup of wine for Elijah, read or adapt this text below.
Elijah’s Cup of Redemption – Bim’hera Yamainu Yavoh Eleinu
As the harbinger of the Messiah, Elijah the prophet has long been associated with justice. Tradition teaches us that during the Passover Seder, a night devoted to the celebration of freedom, we must also remember that our world is still in need of redemption. We therefore diminish our own joy by filling and not drinking a cup of wine for Elijah as a reminder of all those who still face oppression. We sing with hope that, through Elijah, justice will “bim’hera yamainu yavo eleinu” / “come quickly to us, in our own days, and wash over us.”
Jewish tradition teaches us that we must pray as if everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on us. As this Passover coincides with the Supreme Court’s review of the Defense of Marriage Act, Elijah’s undrunk cup takes on the further significance of the full cup of blessings and rights that LGBT couples are prevented from enjoying by this law. We pray that when we celebrate Passover next year, the world will be slightly closer to justice because this law has been repealed.
For more information about United for Marriage events and prayer resources, click here.
This is our moment. The Federal Budget and our policy priorities are moral decisions that shape our world – and as people of faith, we can build the moral movement for a better one. Please join me in signing a letter to Members of Congress endorsing the "People's Budget.”
Next week, we’re going straight to our New York decision makers to deliver a faithful petition that demands full and fair funding for our children’s schools.
Reserve tickets for The Leading Edge conference, April 24–26, 2015 at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan.
We delivered 25,000 petition signatures to our local ICE office to stop the deportation of Pastor Max – a beloved father and congregation leader.
Mennonite pastor Max Villatoro was detained last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on his way to work and could be deported this week. We need your signature today – tell ICE that this father and pastor needs to stay with his family and congregation.