Blog post from Pullen member Clinton Wright:
Obsidian is a really interesting igneous rock. Igneous rocks are those that are formed from molten material. Obsidian, in particular, is formed from lava that is cooled so quickly that crystals cannot form in the rock material; it becomes a sort of glass. It is black, smooth and unstable (chemically speaking).
Many people, myself included, carry a piece of obsidian with them to rub or touch or look at when necessary. I have a piece that I keep in my pocket or in my bag. The reason people keep obsidian in their pockets is because some mystics believe rocks and minerals and herbs have healing powers for the various impacts and ills upon the lives of people. Many believe that obsidian is a truth-enhancing stone that is strongly protective; forming a shield around negativity. It is considered particularly strong in times of great change. Obsidian is believed to draw out from the body mental stress and tension. It stimulates the parts of us that seek strength in new horizons. It is believed that obsidian can offer clarity of mind by clearing emotional blockages and traumas. In essence, obsidian can help you to know your true self. Some mystics believe that obsidian increases ones ability for compassion and strength by grounding oneself. In this self-grounding, obsidian increases ones capacity for self-control.
As I have meditated on the task at hand in the days to come, my mind kept going back to obsidian. I think about the explosive fire that is happening right now, a volcanic explosion. And the negative tongues spewing hate and this hate and speech violence spewing across the country in various forms of lava, literally burning people alive.
We are asking people to stand in the lava. We are asking them to join us as we attempt to rapidly cool this material. We are asking them to be obsidian! We are asking them for the strength of a rock that forms into glass because it cools down so quickly. We are asking them to harness their anger as a result of the current political climate. We need them to harness this anger to be stronger. And….the beautiful thing in asking people to be obsidian is that they will be chemically unstable. They will have the power to change and make change. They can be changed. You see…obsidian is so chemically unstable that over time it can crystalize, small portions at a time, little crystals growing inside and outside of the rock. I believe this is what we want from the people in this movement. We want them to feel the power of their commitment; to see and feel change.
In my analysis of people right now, I don’t see a flatline, I don’t see spiritual death. I see a burning calling to action. I hear people say, “how do I get involved?” But they don’t mean this literally. They are seeing how to get involved. They are finding 100s of ways to get involved. I have been to several local organizing meetings lately. Rooms that before the election had 5 to 10 people in them that now are at over-flow capactiy auditorium size. There is an army of people who feel the fire inside and out. Monday, at the MLK march in Durham, I watched as shop-keeps literally turned their open signs to closed and locked-up to come out into the streets to join the hundreds that stretched the entire length of downtown as we marched down Main Street. My analysis of people leads me to believe that people have minds that are telling them to be rational and think through and listen for directions and to be logical in the steps that they are taking, but also have irrational and illogical hearts that are telling them to go full steam ahead at every entry point they can find into this movement. No. I don’t believe that people are flat-lined, I think they are quite literally quaking! They are standing in the gap and in the lava in the firey explosion of this time. They need guidance though, and they need education. But they are ready to fight the fire by being obsidian; a rock that was once an explosion and is formed to be unstable in an effort to focus on change.
So….I ask again: How do we give the people obsidian? Something to keep with them so that the act of self-purification is an ongoing reminder of ones deep committment and willingness to risk standing in the lava, the gap, to make glass, to repair the breach, to be a firey change we so desperately need.
A note from the Outreach Committee of the Women’s March on Raleigh:
2016 has been challenging for many of you and your members. We at The Women’s March on Raleigh will start 2017 in an affirming way as we show our solidarity for The Women’s March on Washington DC by having a local march in Raleigh. We invite you to be a part of this day in support, solidarity, and sharing along with many other local and state groups. The event will include a march and a rally, including speakers and entertainers.
We invite you to be a part by:
- Donating to help cover our expenses
- Promoting this event to your members and allies.
- Bringing a delegation to the march and rally.
- Encouraging people to volunteer at the event.
Details at: womensmarchonraleigh.
For more information, see this Fact Sheet.
James and Kim Crook will lead a group of Pullenites on the 2nd official pilgrimage to the Republic of Georgia next summer. We are currently working on dates, but are planning on sometime between June 24 and July 8, 2017. We expect the trip to run 7 to 9 days, including travel.
We are in touch with our friend and brother Malkhaz Songulashvili, to plan the details and work out costs. We will hold interest meetings in the next few months to show some pictures from previous trips, talk about the itinerary, the culture, and our friends. The first meeting is scheduled for December 11, right after Sunday Worship.
If you want to get a first person report from some of those who have traveled there, you might seek out Jim Hutchby, Brooks Wicker, Cathy Tamsburg, Felicia Roper, Sarah Benbow, Theresa Riggins, or Phil Letsinger.
Because of all of you, rural communities are saving the lives of women and their babies!
Pregnant women in remote, rural communities of Nicaragua still face many challenges to make sure their babies are born safely, grow healthy and happy. Sometimes, lack of resources and accessibility to adequate care takes a toll on them. Fortunately, you are changing this! Thanks to Pullen Memorial Baptist Church’s prayers, love and generous gift of $3,864 on July 21, 2016 to AMOS Health and Hope, you help us continue training community health workers who lovingly accompany pregnant women, provide counseling, care and essential medicines, like Ada Luz Montenegro, who shared with us how the trainings she has received with AMOS helped her save two lives:
A 26-year-old woman had tried to keep her pregnancy secret after the father of her child abandoned them. I visited her to offer counseling and support. Feeling overwhelmed about being a single mom, she refused my counseling, but I kept visiting her. One day, she finally agreed to see me. She had her first prenatal check up, and together we created a plan for her delivery at the health center. When the time came, she was too afraid to leave her home. I called for an ambulance and staff at the health center, and we convinced her she needed to give birth in a safe place. Later that day, after the baby was born at the health center, she had a hemorrhage. She and her baby were transferred to the regional hospital and stayed there for 15 days until she was stable.
A week after mom and baby arrived home, I visited them to follow-up on their care, and was so hapy to find the house filled with joy and gratefulness for her new baby girl!
Pullen’s support is critical for thousands of mothers, babies and their families. Thank you for reaching out to people who otherwise would not have access to health care. Your support is changing communities by training local leaders on disease prevention and treatment, care for pregnant women and newborns, community organization, and coordination of emergency transportation.
Thank you for sharing God’s love, your time, and resources to help bring hope to the most vulnerable. We are so blessed to have you as partners in our ministry! And we look forward to continue working together to help communities improve their own health.
David & Laura Parajon, AMOS Health & Hope