ION (Interfaith Opportunity Network) has taken advantage of Zoom bringing us closer and in many cases making it easier to have both meetings and devotionals throughout the summer.
Our most immediate project involves acting for restorative justice for Native People on the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Europeans on Native lands in the Northeast on Sunday, October 18, 2:00 p.m. (rain date Oct 25), at Unity Park (1st and Unity Streets), Turners Falls, MA (simultaneous broadcast via YouTube). Unity Park is near the site of the Great Falls Massacre, where around 200 Native women, children and elders were killed in their sleep. If gathering in person is not safely possible, a virtual gathering will be held via YouTube and Facebook. We will have the opportunity to listen to Native speakers and hear music; reflect and develop relationships of respect and solidarity; and act for restorative justice. Info and “pay as led” tickets for Oct 18 program: www.groupsinging.org/events/400Years. To “see” this program via the Internet, you must register through this site; a link will then be sent you. Otherwise, donations for support and reparations can be sent to: Interfaith Council of Franklin County (ICFC), PO Box 1171, Greenfield, MA 01302.
Earlier this summer, after the murder of George Floyd, ION sponsored a vigil at the Amherst Town Common which grew to almost 1500 people. Over 120 people participated in a vigil in South Hadley organized by Center Church. Weekly vigils from 10 -10:30 a.m. every Saturday continue to be held near that Town Common on Rte 116. All are welcome.
Last Fall, when an ION member brought to our attention the racist imagery on both our state flag and seal, which show a Native figure standing beneath an arm wielding a sword, we worked towards changing that image. We are the ONLY state in this country with racist images on its seal or flag. A bill which will study changing this image recently passed the Senate unanimously and is in now the House Ways and Means Committee.
Mary Beth Seminario, the UUSA representative to ION.