Peace & Justice

 

Bloom's Social Action and Missions (SAM) Team helps us apply our Christian values in many ways, affecting systems and symptoms for the better employment of of our abilities.  Ongoing programs include: 

  • Jointly sponsoring an Inland Congregations United for Change imigration march in Palm Springs to support a sensible and affordable pathway to citizenship.
  • Annally supporting low income families in Palm Srpings Unified School district with backpacks and Christmas gifts.
  • Joint Pride Month programs with the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage.
  • Sponsorship of Marriage Equality rallies in colaboration with Equality California.
  • Planting a Peace Pole in Palm Springs. Assiting with Peace Pole Plantings in other desert cities.
  • Sponsoring a regugee child at religious school in Nepal 
  • Supporting the work of Coachella Valley Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) has meant marching, blessing, planning and teaching for the benefit of the working poor.
  • Making sandwiches weekly for distribution as evening nourishment for homeless prisons and others has filled a need for The Well in the Desert.
  • Standing and marching in solidarity with war protesters and peace vigil participants whenever we can is one expression of our faith.
  • Building a peace network in the valley as a constant goal.
  • Helping establish regular "Prophetic Voice Academy" meetings.
  • Connecting with regional peace and justice groups to establish and strengthen a valley-based coalition is our ongoing quest.

 


Peace Pole Project

Palm Springs Pole Placement and Plaque Wording


Dedicated January 18, 2008
May Peace Prevail on Earth
 

Joining more than 200,000 locations around the world, this Palm Springs Peace Pole brings the international initiative to this international city.  Founded in 1955, the global Peace Pole Project seeks “to uplift humankind toward harmony rather than conflict.”

 

This “planting” is made possible by the support of local interfaith church,

synagogue, business and veteran groups and individuals.  It is a gift to all who live here and passers by.

 

It reminds us to hold dear those who are harmed by conflict; including Barbara Keating, a Palm Springs community member who was a passenger on board American Airlines Flight 11 when it was flown into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

 

The languages displayed are:  Arabic, Cahuilla, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hebrew, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog and Braille.  This Peace Pole is the first to display this Cahuilla phrase.

 

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Bloom in the Desert Ministries United Church of Christ and Reconciling Methodist Congregation

Church of St. Paul in the Desert – Episcopal

Innerfaith Ministries Worldwide

Forest Lawn Mortuaries

Malki Museum

Peace & Praise Fellowship

St. Theresa Catholic Parish

Temple Isaiah

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert

United Methodist Church of Palm Springs

United Methodist Men

Veterans for Peace

West Valley Interfaith Association


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In response to an ex-gay conference brought to the valley by the largest fundamentalist church here, Bloom's leadership decided to publish a rather large ad in the our main newspaper on Saturday to coincide with the conference and the rally against it. It was a big financial commitment for our fledgling church, but this was determined to be a moment that came to us.  If we did not step up to make a statement in opposition to something we consider dangerous, unbiblical and abusive, an opportunity for our witness as the love of Christ is lost. Blooom's ad appeared on the Opinion page, with a projected exposure to 130,000 unique readers.

When Love Truly Wins

Gay is not straight and hate is not love.  “God is still speaking,”

We in Palm Springs’ United Church of Christ are deeply distressed regarding the misinformation in the promotional efforts of Southwest Community Church and Focus on the Family for (the September 23, 2006) “Love Won Out” conference in Indian Wells and the credence given to it in the local media.  

While various ancient cultures disapproved of some homosexual actions for religious, tribal or military reasons, we believe those discriminations are now irrelevant.  God’s ongoing revelation has guided us through many levels of ignorance and bigotry as a nation to times of knowledge and betterment.  We no longer believe women are the property of men.  We no longer believe that human beings can own other human beings.  We no longer believe that separate is in any way equal or valuable.  We no longer believe that sexual orientation is something to be ashamed of or hidden.

Mistake #1:  Homosexuality is a choice a person makes.  Such claims are entirely false.  They ignore and deny solid scientific research.  Moral choices are those over which we have power, as with:  compassion, selfishness, kindness, woodenness in the face of suffering, thievery, and murder.  Aspects of ourselves that we do not choose – hair color, skin color, genetic make-up, sexual orientation – are not things we can control and therefore are not moral choices to make. 

Mistake #2:  There is something wrong with being homosexual and the Bible supports this bigotry.  Looking at the teachings of Jesus seriously, we must recognize that the very people society rejected were central to Jesus’ faithful circle: the Samaritans, the people of the street, the woman with many husbands.  He knew them and loved them as they were.

Mistake #3:  Failure to love.  The promotion of “Love Won Out” is filled with inherent hostility for those among us who are gay and lesbian.  Jesus taught that we live most powerfully and fully by love’s power, not by rejection or demand.  We become new people in our hearts by the power of that love.  We do not change our natural structure as human beings. 

God is still speaking.  In 1620, Rev. John Robinson led our Pilgrim ancestors with the certainty that “there is yet more light and truth to break forth from God’s holy word.”  The light and truth of today is that love wins out when we believe God loves us without concern for sexual orientation.

This statement is written by the Social Action and Missions Team and paid for by a vote of the Open Leadership Team  of Bloom in the Desert Ministries United Church of Christ and Reconciling Methodist Congregation.

 

 


 

"‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father (Parent) in heaven."  --Matthew 5:13-16