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April 2nd, 2017 - In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Repairers of the Breach President and Senior Lecturer, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II delivers a powerful sermon to reflect the current time at the historic Riverside Church in New York City. The Riverside Church is where Dr. King preached his controversial "Beyond Vietnam" sermon 50 years ago on April 4th, 1967, exactly one year before his death.
Rekindling a Prophetic Moral Vision for Justice, Social Change and Movement Building
WHAT IS REPAIRERS OF THE BREACH?
Repairers of the Breach, Inc. is a nonpartisan and ecumenical organization that seeks to build a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. Repairers will help frame public policies which are not constrained or confined by the narrow tenets of neo-conservatism. Repairers will bring together clergy and lay people from different faith traditions, with people without a spiritual practice but who share the moral principles at the heart of the great moral teachings. Repairers will expand a “school of prophets” who can broadly spread the vision of a nation that is just and loving.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. — Isaiah 58:12
Our communities are torn apart by hateful violence and words, often in the name of opportunistic and hypocritical interpretations of the world's oldest holy books and teachings. To repair the breaches caused by centuries old systems of racial and gender inequality, we need thousands of clergy and lay leaders who will dedicate their lives to rebuilding, raising up and repairing our moral infrastructure. They shall be called, "The Repairers of the Breach: The Restorers of Our Communities".
Educate church and lay leaders who will pursue policies and organizing strategies for the good of the whole. Educate the public about the deep connections between shared religious faith traditions and public policy, deeply rooted in our Constitutions and the moral values of justice, fairness, and the general welfare. Challenge the version of the ultra-conservatives who have misinterpreted Christianity and other faith traditions as a faith that hates the poor. They call 47% of us “Takers,” and they want to shut down any government agency that tries to provide for the general welfare and just economic systems.
Develop effective messengers of the social gospel in places of worship, communities and workplaces who will understand the values at the heart of an anti-racism, anti-poverty, and the anti-extreme militarism movement. Develop leaders with a clear progressive moral vision for leadership in the 21st century. Create 21st century prophetic critique and consciences. Develop local leaders/clergy who can withstand the sirens of opportunism and neo-conservatism while remaining true to a principled approach to eliminating poverty and racism.