Thursday, July 22, 2010

Editorial: Day of Prayer reveals starkly contrasting Values

[Editor's Note: This editorial was posted Monday, July 19, on Headwaters News. Text and photos reprinted with permission.]

By Gabriel Caplett of Headwaters News

MARQUETTE -- This past weekend Rochelle Dale, Jan Zender and other residents of the small town of Big Bay, Mich., hosted a multi-faith fasting and prayer event on the Yellow Dog Plains, "in the shadow of Eagle Rock," where Rio Tinto plans to open a nickel and copper sulfide mine. Representatives from the Lutheran, Jewish, Buddhist, Anishinaabe, Roman Catholic, United Methodist and Unitarian traditions were present to speak and hold prayer sessions.

The prayer and meeting tent for the July 18 multi-faith event held "in the shadow of Eagle Rock." (Photo courtesy Headwaters News. Reprinted with permission.)

For me, the most striking part of the day occurred while Reverend Jon Magnuson, a Lutheran campus pastor, was performing the Eucharist underneath an overhanging made of canvas and maple poles. As a boy of nine, Jeremiah, read through the 23rd Psalm, one line reached out to me that Magnuson repeated and emphasized: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."

Before Magnuson, himself wearing a white robe, was a table covered in bright red cloth; a Bible, loaf of bread and goblet of wine were on top. As Magnuson spoke, teaching about the Eucharist and its importance in everyday life, rain clouds slowly moved in over nearby Eagle Rock, now fenced-in by Rio Tinto. In the foreground of Eagle Rock was a mine security vehicle, always running, the seated guard monitoring and recording our every move the entire day ....

A guard, sitting in a parked company vehicle with the motor running, monitors the prayer event. (Photo courtesy Headwaters News. Reprinted with permission.)

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