Monday, June 18, 2007

Jubilee USA Conference, final day

Sunday was the last day of the Jubilee USA Conference. Because of Reconciler I did not stay to the end of the conference this afternoon. While much of yesterdays' emphasis were informational todays was more oriented to organizing around the information and the planed action of a fast this fall to draw attention to the Jubilee act of 2007.

The day began with a reading of a poem (or maybe several strung together, it was difficult to tell), that had moments of brilliance, but at times the poetry got lost in the message. while I was moved by the message of the poem neither the images nor the rhythms and rhymes moved me consistently. At moments there was a compelling image or rhythms that conveyed a feeling but without consistency.

The plenary session began with a presentation by Marie Dennis, of Marryknoll Office for Global Concerns,on the idea of Sabbath and it relevance both for debt cancellation but also as an alternative to current economic practices. She concluded her talk with explaining the sabbath year as a type of fast and here experience of fasting and its communal effects.

Jubilee USA as part of its Sabbath Year campaign for debt cancellation is organizing a 40 day fast in the fall. Brian Swarts spoke to us about organizing around this campaign. So there was a presentation on how regional Jubilee groups could get the word out about the fast, get people to join in the fast and get media attention about the fast.

I then attended the workshop on International Debt and Global Aids. The focus thought was on getting us who attended to see the possibilities of organizing and getting the attention of not only our representatives in congress but of the 2008 Presidential candidates, and the information that was given on debt and aids was brief and oriented to getting us to take that particular action of getting the message of more aids funding to all candidates who are running for election in 2008.

I had lunch with the conference but had to prepare for worship at Reconciler
So I missed the afternoon plenary session, which was entitled "Envisioning Alternatives: Building a Movement North & South" and also missed the final workshop session.