In response to the constitutional crisis currently facing America, Convergent Streams Magazine and Universal Spirit Broadcasting Network have joined together in a collaborative program to resist social injustice and environmental plunder and to foster a constructive reaction in our communities.
The Prevailing State of Affairs
The election of President Donald J. Trump has created a nationwide crisis that has begun the process of reversing the living standards, environmental protections and the social safety net of the American people in general and communities of color and immigrant population.
Aside from an agenda based on fanning the American public’s fears and stereotypes, President Trump’s uncivility has brought out of the woodwork, and into the forefront, the racist elements that have for the most part remained silent. President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy has focused on the presence of the undocumented community on the southern border and across the country. Progressive clergy and laity must unite and endeavor to end the attacks against humanity and the environment. We must direct the focus of our efforts to meet this challenge and extend the protection of our entire community on their behalf.
Collaborative Action Plan
We began by developing an umbrella coalition entitled, “The Unidos Manifesto” that facilitates a broad, organized, proactive movement of all the forces in our community. This broad-based coalition will identify and act on long-range objectives while maintaining a ready-response mechanism for responding to challenges or windows of opportunity for short term goals. The coalition’s tasks will be identified, planned and implemented through a series of commentaries and discussions from the progressive spiritual community who agree with our analysis, strategy, tactics and goals.
Unidos Teleconferences and “The Unidos Voice”
Commencing last June, there have been four Unidos Teleconferences that have initiated discussions about the objectives of the collaborative program. Participating clergy have expressed their concerns about the national crisis and have attested the need for establishment and mobilization of a coalition of progressive clergy and laity to react to the plight with a constructive plan of action. The discussions have reached an understanding of a Mission Statement, and there is consensus to continue with the development of the coalition. A new phase is ready to continue development of the Manifesto of the alliance.
“The Unidos Voice” will be the new vehicle for clergy and laity to express their personal commentary regarding the on-going development of the coalition’s declaration to develop and advance a strategic plan to defeat systemic racism, poverty and inequity, ecological disaster, war and proliferation of the military industrial complex, and preservation of the separation of Church and State. Twice a month a question will be posted, and participants will respond by submitting a brief video or audio recording of their response to the question and offer commentary. Responses will be combined into a single video presentation and then posted online for participants to evaluate the views of the coalition. “The Unidos Voice” will be an on-going discussion the will be the means of hearing the views of the coalition. If there is a need for immediate or more in-depth debate, Teleconferences will be scheduled and conducted as necessary.
Specific Information Regarding the Procedure of “The Unidos Voice”
The easiest way to record your thoughts is using a cell phone. Below are specific instructions depending on your type of cell phone.
Select the Memo app that comes installed on most Android devices. Once open, click the green circle with a plus symbol in it. Once open, click the microphone icon (circled in red in this image).
On an iPhone or iPad, you can select the Voice Memo app and start recording by clicking the red record dot. When finished, click on the same dot again.
At the bottom of the specific recording there are three dots (circled in the image below). If you click those dots, there is an option that appears on the screen called Share. Click on share and browse to your Email app.
Convergent Streams Magazine and Universal Spirit Broadcasting Network have commenced a collaboration and outreach to the spiritual community. For the most part, “The Unidos Manifesto” has been an idea—and—now we invite you to join us in this spiritual experience for the well-being of our communities. Rev. Ernest Holmes profoundly summarizes the sentiment of our collaboration: “We need spiritual experience, first-hand knowledge of life and Reality. There is no medium between God and man, nothing between life and living, between heaven and hell, but an idea. But an idea has no real value until it becomes an experience.”
Each day we see and hear the news that is so alarming that we can’t imagine what will happen the next day, week, month, year—and then we wonder–what will be the last straw that will break our backs? As clergy, we’ve accepted the call to serve the people by ministering to them with the gifts of sacraments. Moreover, now there is a new calling to organize and resist social inequality and environmental pillage. We may ask, “Do we have the resources, knowledge and skills to carry out such a task?” Rev. Holmes powerfully offers an observation with reassurance: “To each is given what he needs and the gifts of heaven come alike to all. How we shall use these gifts is all that matters! To hold one’s thought steadfastly to the constructive, to that which endures, and to the Truth, may not be easy in a rapidly changing world, but to the one who makes the attempt much is guaranteed.”
Fr. Rick Romero is priest in the Old Catholic Churches International. He is a friar in the Order of Saint Francis, Old Catholic. He is the founder of Universal Spirit Broadcasting Network and is a tireless advocate for social justice.