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Poor People’s Campaign Brings Attention to Climate Justice

By Rev. Carol Devine
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The 2017 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis, IN adopted a resolution to support The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival which has grown out of the unfinished work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967/68 Poor People’s Campaign. On Mother's Day, The Poor People’s Campaign launched six weeks of direct action and nonviolent civil disobedience in an effort to address issues of racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological destruction.

Week four of six, people of faith in over 40 state Capitals and Washington D.C. marched, rallied and participated in direct action to bring attention to the issues around healthcare and the environment, such as climate change.

Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, Disciples minister and national voice of this movement led and inspired over 400 Kentuckians on the Capitol steps in Frankfort, KY with his passionate cries on behalf of “the least of these” our brothers and sisters.

Kentucky Disciples along with justice-minded people from all over the state prayed with their voices and feet in song,chants and marching. After speaking and preaching passionately with a Bible in his hand, Rev. Barber led the crowd, lined up two-by-two, to the public entrance of the Capitol building. The people were silent as Rev. Barber requested entry into “the people’s house,” but entrance was denied. After questioning the legality of keeping the people out, Rev. Barber asked the crowd to kneel and were led in prayer by Rev. Megan Huston of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Bowling Green, KY. The people were stopped this time, but Rev. Barber promised the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be hearing from the campaign’s legal team. After leading the singing of “Somebody’s Hurting my Brother,” Dr. Barber encouraged the crowd to keep coming back and to never give up.

Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel, use words when necessary.” As a pastor, I mostly use words through preaching, teaching and writing to share the gospel. To get out and Preach the Gospel with my whole body alongside 400 other people of faith felt invigorating and freeing. When Rabbi Abraham Heschel returned from marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, he was asked by someone, ‘Did you find much time to pray?’ Rabbi Heschel responded, ‘I prayed with my feet.’ The six weeks of marching and rallies in states all over the Unites States will culminate on Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 a.m. EDT for a Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally in Washington, D.C. Won’t you please join this movement and cry out for justice for the least of these by praying with your feet and sharing the Gospel with your body?


Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a partner of Blessed Tomorrow, a coalition of health leaders committed to caring for our climate to care for our health.  Founded by ecoAmerica, Blessed Tomorrow offers tools, resources, and communications to demonstrate visible climate leadership, inspiring and empowering health leaders to speak about, act on and advocate for climate solutions. Learn more about our partnership and the resources available to you here.