The Spiritual Affairs Committee
-- SA, for short -- is a multi-faith group (including people of no particular faith) dedicated to promoting the spiritual wellbeing and growth of all members of Occupy Chicago. Everyone attracted to our common goal is welcome to join us. We encompass two areas of activity: outreach and inreach.
Each SAer strives to build bridges between OC and their individual community of faith.
In addition, some SAers are especially dedicated to reaching out to other communities of faith in the Chicago area. We hope that clergy-to-clergy contact in particular will contribute to OC's growth and diversity.
Other SAers are especially dedicated to direct service to Occupiers.
For example, SAers are encouraged to plan, to facilitate, and/or to support each other's faith-based activities. Such "spiritual circles" to date include:
- Baha'i Holy Day celebration
- Buddhist meditation group (weekly, Tuesday, 4:30 PM, at HQ)
- Christian celebration of the Eucharist (hopefully monthly on Sunday afternoon)
- Jewish Shabbat service (hopefully monthly on Friday evening).
We hope that members will come forth and expand the diversity of spiritual circles to include more traditions such as Hindu, Muslim, Native American, Wiccan, and other spiritual practices.
We also hope, when OC does establish a "home", to create a sacred space that provides everyone with a peaceful and private environment conducive to their communing with God as they perceive Her/Him/It.
Additionally, we are working to establish an OC 12-Step group open to all people addicted to substances, people addicted to behaviors, people addicted to addicts, and other concerned persons.
Finally, the OC Chaplaincy (not the same thing as the Protest Chaplains in general) will be the ordained clergy and other chaplains formally appointed by their communities of faith to be available to serve the spiritual needs of any OC individual who requests it of them. This means they will intentionally remain able to exercise such clerical rights as serving as a spiritual advisor able to visit arrestees in prison.
We envision making the OC Chaplains identifiable to everyone by the use of matching simple white stoles with black silhouettes of the basic symbol of their faith, such as:
- Baha'i - 9-pointed star
- Buddhist - 8-spoked wheel
- Christian - Upright cross
- Hindu - Sanscrit OM
- Jewish - 6-pointed star
- Muslim - Star and crescent
- Native American - 4-pointed compass
- Wiccan - 5-pointed star
There is no requirement to belong to the faith community of an OC Chaplain -- or, for that matter, to any faith community at all -- in order to request spiritual assistance from her or him.
If YOU have questions, comments, or new ideas, please share them with us. Thank you.
posted Sat, Nov 19, 2011