Video of Otay Mesa Detention Center Protest of Family Separation
June 20, 2018, World Refugee Day

Dear Friends, 

We have never needed religion, community and theology more than during this humanitarian crisis of separating children from their families by the US government here in California and the southern border states. Christianity and the teachings of Jesus, I believe, are particularity relevant during this historic time as we witness children and babies being abused as they are taken out of their mothers' arms, kidnapped and put into steel cold cages, left alone and are not even allowed to hug one another! 

Jesus was tortured and killed and the story of Christianity is that love is more powerful than torture and death. As a Christian minister, a mother, grandmother, and a global citizen with a conscience, I look to the history and ask what should we be doing? I do not stand in solidarity with the actions of our US government. Historically there were German Christians called the "Confessing Christians" that formed in Germany in 1943 to oppose Hitler and Nazism.  They said that one had to choose between National Socialism and the teachings of Jesus, Which one will we serve? We are faced with the same question today.

Christian groups in the past rejected the system of apartheid in South Africa saying that the churches should publicly reject apartheid. It is time for us to follow in their footsteps and publicly reject our government's policy of separating families as a church. This policy of child abuse amounts to torture. The only alternative these families have as they flee violence in Central America, if they cannot come cross the border without having their children taken from them, is to try to cross the border in the desert where hundreds have already died. I don't remember feeling more concern for our human species than in recent days learning of the US government stealing and separating children from their parents, and by all accounts there is no system to reunite them so they may never see one another again. And who is making a profit from this sudden baby stealing industry? Prison is big business these days.

“[It can] cause irreparable harm to lifelong development by disrupting a child’s brain architecture,” said American Academy of Pediatrics (A.A.P.) President Colleen Kraft. Child. Psychologist, Megan Gunnar reports that the age at which children are taken can also have a profound effect on their future mental and physical health.“The age of the child matters,” Gunnar told BuzzFeed News. Children under age 10, especially, are of utmost concern, according to Gunnar. “Those under 5 should get us all running around with our hair on fire to get this practice stopped.” The only thing that seems to reassure me is when I see congress people and journalists on TV cry and scream as they report that we do not know yet where the secret prisons are - for babies and children stolen from their families.  Suggesting we "run around like our hair is on fire." makes me feel better for I realize that other people are as upset as I am. We obviously don't need "professional" people to tell us what every mother and father knows. It is tortuously cruel and does irreparable harm to babies and children to be taken away from their parents. It is urgent that we have people telling the truth with the passion of outrage and moral indignation at this time.  

To not be able to sleep at night with visions of child snatching and our government leaving children alone in cold cages is a normal response to a abnormal situation.

 My personal religious story began when I was threatened with a child custody case because I was trying to protect my children from a child abuser. When I was threatened that my children would be taken away from me I was so desperate I went to seminary, because I thought I would go mad and instinctively knew I needed religion at such a time of crisis. Before this crisis I was your regular liberal educated secular non religious person who had been pretty much brainwashed that religion in general and Christianity in particular was as my mother taught me, "for simple minded fools."  Learning the teachings of Jesus gave me a life line at that personal time of crisis. We need the teachings of Jesus as Americans today and a theology of God who we can pray to like never before. Attending Claremont School of Theology I was so astonished to find what Jesus actually taught, I converted, for I realized the values of my family and our culture was about a life of appearances, achievement, and material success, all unsatisfying in the long term as well as morally corrupt. May we use this local humanitarian crisis to covert to a life of service, truth telling, radical courage and love. 

Church for Our Common Home envisions a time when the abuse we inflict on whale babies and families, trees, the earth and soil, the air and the water elicits as much moral outrage as what our government is currently doing to abuse children at the southern boarder of the USA.  We hope to feel as deeply for Yemenis, Palestinian and Syrian children and all the world refugees as we do the children who are geographically close to us. God calls us to treat all life especially young vulnerable life as sacred.

Please join us every Sunday at 5 pm as we follow in the discipleship of Jesus and pray for those who are suffering. Please join us as we build an alternative sustainable community that has the vision of caring for children in the model that Brother Roger began after World War II in Taize, France. He bought a farm in order to take care of the many child orphans with an ecumenical group of Christian clergy. Come join our conversations on how to follow in his foot steps. Our vision is to create an
inter- generational community who live, serve, pray and study together as we serve children and our common home planet earth that need our care. 

Our scripture reading this week is Mathew 25:35-36, 40, from The Inclusive Bible the First Egalitarian Translation,"For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink.I was a stranger and you welcomed me; naked and you clothed me.I was ill and you comforted me; in prison and you came to visit me.....(Jesus said) "The truth is, every time you did this for the least of my sisters and brothers, you did it for me." We will also celebrate the summer solstice as a time to look deeply into our history, and consider the Babylonian epic story of creation dated from somewhere in the 7th century BC to 1500 BC. It is a story about the conquest and murder of the original mother goddess, Tiamet, by her great,-great-great-grandson, Marduk, It marks a unique point in history when there was a shift from the epic of the Mother Goddess who shape shifted into the symbolic Sun/Son God and the Father God of the Iron Age. Jesus came to teach about the divine feminine in an ancient Roman world that idolized Caesar their sun God. The Roman Empire was out of balance in the same way we are today. The masculine and feminine aspect are in every person. The masculine being the more active principle and the feminine the more receptive principle.

Sun, heat, power are NOT the only powers. We need theology that teaches that God is NOT all powerful but is vulnerable, and shows us a self emptying kind of love, a power of co-creative relationship. So much of our current political problem comes from not looking or thinking deeply about what is happening. For example, we need to ask Why do we have so many asylum seekers from Central America? It comes from the US policies that have support dictators in this region for decades, as well as massive corporate interests like United Fruit Company who have made economic justice impossible for the people of Central America.  

Please join us on Saturday, June 23, at 10 am at the Civic Center to protest the separation of over 3000 children from their families. Our US government is doing something so unconscionable we must go into the streets and protest, write and contact our elected officials, come together to find creative ways to respond. Might one million people in SD gather at the border and camp out until this abuse of children and babies by our government stops? Methodists are bringing church charges against Jeff Session for this border policy..... check it out
God is waiting for us to call upon our creative imaginations to co-create with him/her to respond in love.

Please call or text me if you want to join our group at the rally (858) 248-5123.
Please contact me if you need support because you can't sleep and are so upset you don't know what to do.Come t o church Sunday night at 5 pm and join us for a pot luck every week. 
Join us on live stream on Church for Our Common Home Facebook page to be with us. I don't know a lot, but I do know this: This is not a time to be alone. It is a time to come together to be in community and it is time to pray together. 

I went to a rally a week a few days ago at the Otay Mesa Detention Center and what impressed me most was the music and dancing of the demonstration. We not only need to do social justice work, we need to celebrate in music and dance. The Latina women closed the rally with beautiful music and then in dancing! Come and dance with us every Sunday night at Church for Our Common Home. If we are miserable, it is time to dance. 

Dear God,
We come to ask for your help.
Our government is separating children from their families and putting them 
in prisons with cold cages and they are not being allowed to touch or be touched by anyone. Babies are being taken away from nursing mothers. We need courage and hope for we do not know how to best help them. .Please pull us into your new creation of love and justice.Please give us the tenacity to come together as people of faith and do what is right. Give us inner peace that we may rest for this long journey.

Love always,

P.S. Field Trip Saturday June 30th to Salvation Mountain, Slab City and East Jesus an Artistic Community on Saturday, June 30th. We will be leaving at 4 am in order to miss the heat of the day. This should be a wonderful source of inspiration
as we are inspired to build a sculpture like church in the spirit of Salvation Mountain. Check out the web site Leonard Knight created a beautiful place dedicated to the idea that God is Love.

Weekly Lectio Divina  and Centering Prayer  Contemplative practice of studying scriptures for the following Sunday and an ancient Christian contemplative prayer practice every Wednesday, 10-11 am.
Monthly Taize Service first Sunday of every month.
Monthly Prayer and Healing Service third Sunday 5 pm .
Dream Circle every first and third Sunday before church 3-5 pm.
The first and third Sunday of every month we have a dream circle immediately before worship from 3-5 pm and invite you even if you barely remember your dreams,
for in our experience just attending a group where people share their dreams, often increases dream recall. 

Our Common Home Counseling Center’s services : addiction issues, PTSD, individual and group therapy, Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Counseling, etc.
Church for Our Common Home | Rev. Bonnie Tarwater | (858) 248-5123
13014 Calle De Las Rosas, San Diego CA 92129