Your plans are ready for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But have you prepared for Table Turning Monday?
Table Turning Monday marks the day after Jesus entered Jerusalem–the day when he turned the tables of the money changers in the Temple. At the time, people in power were slowly taking over the land of peasant farmers by driving them into debt and slavery. Those debt records were kept in the Temple. This symbolic act cast a light on the ways in which religious and political powers colluded to oppress common people.
“Jesus wasn’t crucified just because he said he was the Son of God,” according to Rev. John Helmiere, creator of Table Turning Monday and convener of Valley and Mountain Fellowship in Seattle. “He was crucified because he took a public stand against political and religious corruption that hurt the poor.”
Jesus wasn’t crucified just because he said he was the Son of God. He was crucified because he took a public stand against political and religious corruption that hurt the poor.
–Rev. John Helmiere
This year, Valley and Mountain Fellowship will observe Table Turning Monday by calling religious institutions to sell their stock in fossil fuel companies. And they’re inviting churches in the Pacific Northwest Conference and beyond to join them.
Why fossil fuel divestment? Our global economy depends on the energy infrastructure created through the collaboration between fossil fuel companies and government leaders. Yet the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change that threatens all life on our planet. Climate change exacerbates poverty and hunger, and contributes to public health concerns. Religious institutions (including The United Methodist Church) that own stock in fossil companies profit financially from this system of dependence and destruction, even as their missions call them to ministries that seek to address poverty, hunger, and public health.
a sample letter you can use to call on the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits to divest
discussion material for small groups
worship resources that can be used for Earth Day Sunday
information on an April 14 fossil fuel divestment rally at Seattle University where Valley and Mountain will demonstrate–everyone is invited
You can also begin by thinking about the ways in which your faith community profits from the fossil fuel industry. These likely include your pastor’s pension fund and any money invested through United Methodist foundations that is invested through the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. Perhaps there are others as well.
Please visit TableTurning.org for more information. To stay in the loop on Fossil Free UMC, the movement to call the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits to divest from fossil fuels, like the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fossilfreeumc. If you’re planning on observing Table Turning Monday, please let us know in the comments. And if you can’t squeeze one more thing in this Holy Week, consider using these resources for Earth Day Sunday on April 27.