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Spiritual Practice: Standing Rock, a Ministry of Care

The protests at Standing Rock have reachedd55baefc-660a-4fa1-8fb1-d19cd27a53c8 a critical point since early November, when Canadian Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald joined some 500 clergy from across North America in North Dakota to support those who are attempting to block construction of the oil pipeline across the Missouri River and across tribal lands and sacred sites.

How can you help?

One commentator suggests that the banks funding the pipeline project that includes the Dakota Access Pipeline will be sensitive to public opinion. The 17 banks most directly involved include Ing Bank (Tangerine in Canada), RBC, Scotiabank and TD Securities among others. . Here is the full list with contact information and suggestions for letter writing. Here are other ways to help  including three ways to send donations (halfway into the essay). There is other information and many news stories online… I chose these because they are not only recent, but being updated regularly at source. This situation will be changing over the next week. CBC, the Guardian, and the Independent (UK) are covering the story as it unfolds.

You might wonder whether this level of active engagement is prayer.  I’m sure it is.

Maybe forty years ago I was talking to a friend my own age about prayer. I was a church goer, she had become a journalist after studying international relations.. She said, “I don’t know about the God part, but I believe that when we pay attention to what is happening somewhere in the world and really care about it, that can change things.” She continued faithful to her passion, bringing insight and clear reporting to audiences around the world. Her “beat” included Africa and Asia and she focuses on what is happening beyond the headlines.  It is a ministry of care, and she now runs training seminars for young international journalists.

Or, as this saying attributed to Saint Francis has it:  “Preach the gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words.”

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