Occupy Wall St.

What’s Next in Faith Based Community Organizing: A Rolling Jubilee

By Donna Schaper


Faith Based Com­mu­nity orga­niz­ing has a fine history—from Gamaliel through the Jere­miah Project, through Brook­lyn United, on to PICO and more than I couldn’t pos­si­bly name or remem­ber. Appre­ci­a­tion is the most appro­pri­ate atti­tude and stance. Appre­ci­a­tion can also deepen and lead to a shift in strat­egy, and that is what is hap­pen­ing now in many parts of the country.

The time famine has inten­si­fied for many clergy and for their dwin­dling con­gre­ga­tions, mak­ing it imper­a­tive to switch direc­tion. The old orga­niz­ing model had churches bring­ing their inter­nal parish strength to exter­nal com­mu­nity action. This model wrongly equated the strength of con­gre­ga­tions with the “num­ber” of peo­ple in the pews who could be con­vinced to hold a protest sign. Now, it is time for a model that embod­ies mutu­al­ity. We clergy and con­gre­ga­tions need the community’s help. We need the community’s energy to assist parishes so that parishes may assist com­mu­ni­ties. We need the outer to touch the inner. That shift in direc­tion is hap­pen­ing of neces­sity, due to the extra­or­di­nary pres­sures on parish clergy. It could also hap­pen by design and improve us all. One Cana­dian min­is­ter said, “The churches saved the arts dur­ing the Mid­dle Ages, today the arts need to save the churches.” This com­ment resem­bles the direc­tion we might desire instead of rue.

[Read more.]

Occupy Wall Street stages a comeback: What did it accomplish?

The Rev. Michael Ellick, part of the Occupy Faith group, says his main concern is debt. “There is mortgage debt, medical debt, for a lot of us it’s student-loan debt, it is just crushingly disproportionate to what many of us make anymore.”

He says his group’s efforts are to get out stories about this debt for the next six to 12 months. “The idea is to frame these things into a broader context,” says Mr. Ellock of the Judson Memorial Church in New York. “Then, a lot of us are looking back at our ancient scriptures right now; we’re looking at Deuteronomy 15, where Moses says every seven years there should be total debt forgiveness for the poor.”

[Read more.]


              “We need Occupy Faith’s spiritual presence especially now—it is an ingredient of the power OWS can rightfully claim on behalf of individual dignity.”
–Lisa Fithian, OWS organizer

Since the first days of Occupy Wall Street one year ago, people of faith allied with the movement because of our frustration with an unjust society, our desire to speak truth to power, and our hope that a better world is possible. One year later we have learned many lessons, we have had to go back to the drawing board again and again, but underneath it all remains the knowledge that real change will not come through business as usual, but only when we learn how to stand together and make our common dreams a reality.

So this September 15th-17th, we ask for everyone who was inspired by the Occupy phenomenon not only to celebrate what happened, but to think forward 10 years, to consider what we would need to be doing now for the kind of real change we will want to see then. That is why here at Occupy Faith, we are calling for a truth commission: a way to pull back the veil of shame and get people talking about what their lives actually looks like under our broken economic system.

We're calling it "A People's Investigation of Money, Debt, and Power," and in the days and weeks ahead we will be giving you more information about how you and your communities of faith can get involved. Because now is the time for all people of faith to have faith in all people, to remember the power of sharing our stories, and to know that the only antidote for the insanity and alienation of our culture is the cultivation of a Beloved Community in the here and now.

So join us this coming weekend - join us as we celebrate how far we've come (who would have believed a year ago that an escalation of tactics in Zuccotti Park would turn into a global movement?), and join us as we look ahead to the future. Year one is over, but year two is just getting started. See you in the streets.

Occupy Faith actions on the #OWS anniversary

A People's Investigation
Saturday, September 15 12 pm - 4pm
Washington Square (possibily moved to Foley Square)

Occupy Faith will introduce the A People's Investigation experience. This approach to pursuing truth and justice consists of 3 phases: 1) Gathering stories of loss 2) Naming the themes and compiling recommendations and 3) pursuit of transformative advocacy. In this session, you will learn how to gather stories of pain and loss and contribute them to a website for the world to see. This will be our beta launch so let's work together and figure out the best methodology.

Interfaith Service Sunday, September 16 10 am - 12:30 pm Zuccotti Park

We will begin the service with the blowing of the Shofar by Apostle Leeds, as our call to interfaith worship, and each minister shall take turns in the presentation of prayers on behalf of the people present, of the city and state of New York, the Country, and the world. It shall be our mandate in the worship service to set forth the moral imperative of the OccupyMovement from a faith perspective and we'll speak to the heart of America, to the condition of our country, and the corruption and greed both in Wall Street and in our government. Service will include prayer, songs, hallowing of Zuccotti Park, sermon, blessing of the NYPD.

Training after Music Concert
Sunday, September 16 6 pm
Foley Square
Civil disobedience training will immediately follow the concert's conclusion with a possibly of thematic break out activities

Sunday, September 16 7 pm
Occupy Faith reps will end the Foley Square concert with brief remarks and lead a procession to Zuccotti Park. Occupy Faith supporters will stand behind the speakers. Procession will continue until the Rosh Hashana service begins at 7:30 pm.

#S17 Morning Action
Monday, September 17 Meet 6:45 am, Direct Actions at 7 am
"Red Cube" across from Zuccotti Park

This location is one of thefour organizational zones OWS is using that ring the financial district for a 'people's arrest'. We will offer prayer and strengthen occupiers presence. We will then process to three other zones in support. Each zone has a security check point for access to the Stock Exchange. OWS emergency media contacts us for immediate presence at any zone needing special help and presence. For those participating in #S17 morning actions, please send your cell # to George Packard, geopackard (at) gmail.com. It is critical to keep connected during this deployment as we may have to be nimble or loose in structure and potentially leave Occupy Faith members in each zone as we make the circuit. Click here to read more about #OWS' #S17 plans.

Religious leaders and citizen groups hold a prayer service inside the capitol and call for an increase in the minimum wage.



Mother Jones:
 Inside Occupy Wall Street's New York March Was this year's May Day a sign of things to come?
By Michael Tracey 

"As the People's Assembly wore on, speakers were occasionally interrupted by sporadic calls of "mic check," as interrupters relayed word of authorities' latest moves. Members of Veterans for Peace and Occupy Faith NYC, a coalition of religious figures in fellowship with OWS, volunteered to "stand on the front lines" and defend against any police intervention. By then it was past 9:30 p.m., and hundreds of officers had amassed in every direction. "What I want to say to all of you here, is very simple," proclaimed the Rev. Michael Ellick of Judson Memorial Church, a longtime champion of Occupy. 'Welcome home!'" [Read more.]

Tomorrow is May Day, the true launch pad of the "99% Spring," and the culmination of much hard work on behalf of "Occupy" activists, as well as their labor & immigration allies. OccupyFaithNYC will gather at 4pm at the Gandhi statue in Union Square Park tomorrow; several of us will arrive to welcome you as early as 3:30 pm. There will be a General Assembly beginning at 5pm at Union Square's NW corner. Around 5:30, we march to Zuccotti Park which. It’s especially important for us to show up tomorrow as people of faith.

Several of us wear many hats, and have deep commitments on several levels to the work of economic justice as well as to Occupy Wall Street. Yet we believe our most effective testimony right now, particularly with the possibility of escalating police violence, is to provide a nonviolent, faith-based voice for justice. I encourage you, if you are clergy, to wear garb consistent with your faith tradition. If you are laity, I encourage you to wear faith symbols consistent with your practice. Most of all, I encourage you to bring with you the spirit of your tradition throughout this long and important day. We look forward to seeing you in the streets tomorrow.

Text @OccupyFaith to 23559 to receive live text updates. This will allow us to make quick decisions on how to proceed, based on how the day unfolds. 

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"Judson Memorial Church invited me to speak in their Palm Sunday service, on a passage from the Gospels: Luke 19:40. Defenders of the status quo had been telling Rabbi Jesus to tell his followers to shut up. (It seems they had been urging people to “Occupy Jerusalem” and “Challenge the money-changers.”) And the Gospel says: “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out.” 

I commented that it would be easy to hear this as poetry and parable, but that in our generation, the stones are speaking. The rivers are speaking, flooding one-fifth of Pakistan and the City of New Orleans and washing out the sturdy bridges of Vermont. The rains are speaking by their silence, bringing unheard-of droughts to central Africa, Australia, Russia, Texas, Oklahoma. The frozen stones we call glaciers are groaning as they melt. And all of them are calling on us not only to speak but to act.

To act against the money-changers, the corrupt banks and other corporations that were NOT created in the Image of God. I also led the Freedom Seder at Judson, after our march to pharaonic power-points. Today is the yohrzeit (death-anniversary) of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His death led to my creating the original Freedom Seder, and his wisdom -- reborn -- is encoded in the New Interfaith Freedom Seder that we used." ~Rabbi Arthur Waskow



OccupyFaithNYC Teams Up to Stop Foreclosures in Queens

Protesters looking to disrupt a foreclosure auction with song were tuned out when a sudden bankruptcy filing forced the cancelation of the auction at Queens Supreme Court in Jamaica Friday. [Read more.]



Join us in an action outside Cuomo's NY office on Wednesday March 7th at noon. To coordinate all the pieces and prepare you for the press conference and action, we will hold an orientation meeting the day before on Tuesday, March 6th, at 10a at Judson Memorial Church. For those choosing to participate in Civil Disobedience, we will also have legal representation present to prepare you for this aspect of action.

In the meantime, here's what we need from you:

1. RSVP for both the planning meeting (3/6), and the action (3/7); if you can't make 3/6 we'll make alternate arrangements for you.

2. Spread the word throughout your own networks (we're using this, in part, as a "building" action to invite more faith leaders inside)

3. Invite your actual faith community members to join us on the day. [RSVP here]

[Read more.]

“Can the Occupy Wall Street Movement Reinvigorate Progressive Faith Communities?”

The Columbia University Seminar on
Full Employment, Social Welfare & Equity #613
February 6, 2012

Speakers: Rev. John Collins, Rev. Paul Mayer, Rev. Michael Ellick, Dr. Ray Blanchette

In recent years, the progressive elements in faith communities across the United States have been eclipsed by the rise and political influence of the Religious Right. Yet people of faith have been active and often influential leaders in some of the great movements for social justice and peace throughout U.S. history—from the Abolitionist movement through the movements for labor, civil liberties, civil rights, peace, full employment, women’s rights, and LGBT movements. Today, a new manifestation of that progressive vision is occurring through the Occupy Wall Street movement. [Read More.

New York Review: What Future for Occupy Wall Street?

Michael Ellick: “When people enter a monastery, they don’t know why they’ve come. They are there to find out why they are there, why they were compelled to leave the other world. You figure it out together, you take a mike check, and this is how faith comes to you.” Read More. 

Rev. Ellick presents Nativity Scene to Trinity Church 


Rev. Schaper at December 17 OWS Day of Action

Occupy Faith Promotes Ten Principles of Nonviolent Witness test

Click the images to view. Print out copies and distribute to activists widely. 

                  Front of Card                                                                               Back of Card


Ten Principles of Nonviolent Witness, Back







NY Times: Occupy Group Faults Church, a Onetime Ally

Rev. Ellick: “Charity is not enough. Charity keeps things the same.” Read more.

OWS Protesters Set Up Nativity Scene Near Trinity Church

“It represents the right image at the right time. Jesus could find no room in the inn, nor can Occupiers." Read more.

Episcopal clergy arrested at Occupy Wall Street protest

"Occupy Faith NYC has always supported the OWS ask of Trinity, and will continue to do so, but there is no clear consensus on actions like civil disobedience. Without this consensus, we will not be endorsing such actions, and individual faith leaders who may choose to go this route will be doing so autonomously." Read more.  

Take Back the Commons

Faith Leaders Respond to Eviction From Zuccotti Park from Odyssey Networks on Vimeo.

Slideshow: Judson supports Re-Occupy Day of Action #D17

Click to view. 

#OWS' first issue, "tidal".

Occupy Tidal 

WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show

Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church, Donna Schaper explains what she called the "edifice complex" some congregations have, and what Judson Church is offering to those without a space for worship.

Jesus and the 99 Percent

By The Rev. Madison Shockley "

Mainline Protestant churches have been dribbling into the movement congregation by congregation in various Occupied cities from coast to coast. Judson Memorial Church here in New York City has become the de facto home base for the Protestant Christian response to OWS. In one dramatic gesture, the church carried a papier-mâché “golden calf” in an OWS event symbolizing the worship of false idols that had led us to financial and social catastrophe." Read more

Where Were You When They Crucified My Movement?

By Chris Hedges

The mainstream church, battered by declining numbers and a failure to defiantly condemn the crimes and cruelty of the corporate state, as well as a refusal to vigorously attack the charlatans of the Christian right, whose misuse of the Gospel to champion unfettered capitalism, bigotry and imperialism is heretical, has become a marginal force in the life of most Americans, especially the young. Read more

Protestors urge Trinity to open property to encampment

By Sharon Sheridan

"Supported by members of the faith community, Occupy Wall Street is calling upon Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, in New York to allow protestors to establish a winter camp at property it owns at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street, about a mile north of the movement’s original encampment at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan." Read more.

Churches help Occupy movement survive crackdown, winter

More than 1,400 faith leaders have pledged of solidarity with the movement.

Occupy San Francisco Dinner

By Josef Kuhn

"As Occupy camps nationwide deal with police crackdowns and the inevitable onset of winter, religious communities are stepping in with offers of shelter and solidarity." Read more


Religion Dispatches: I Was Wrong About Occupy

The movement does need public space
Occupy Wall St.by Donna Schaper

"The occupiers edged toward the theological as they articulated a need for communal, inspirational face-to-face contact in which they could 'appear' to one another." Read more

LA Times: Composer Philip Glass joins Occupy Lincoln Center protest

The title of Glass' opera, “Satyagraha,” means "Truth Force" in Sanskrit and is a term Gandhi used to describe his peaceful protest movement that inspired Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Many of the signs and slogans equated Gandhi's words and tactics with the Occupy Wall Street effort. One protester called out to a group of well-dressed patrons: "What you just watched is happening now." Read more.

OWS - Lincon Center

Washington Post: Churches help Occupy movement survive crackdowns, winter

By Josef Kuhn

“The eviction ... really shifts what happens here, and it really boomed the movement, because immediately there was this network in place that we’d developed of communities throughout New York that were willing to open up their doors and house the movement.” Read more

Occupy in Exile: Sacred Space is Everywhere

By Donna Schaper

If you want to find the Occupy Movement now, just go here: exile, diaspora, online, viral, on radio, at Thanksgiving tables, over coffee, in Los Angeles and Poughkeepsie and Riverside and more. Everybody wants to know where it is—and it is everywhere. Read more.

Judson Memorial Church Gives Full Support to Occupy Wall Street Movement

By Sami K. Martin

Rev. Ellick has said, “Now more than ever, it is the responsibility of all people of faith to have faith in all people and to realize that the great spiritual work of our times is to restore our Democracy and the people’s voice in shaping the American Way.” Read more

Occupy Movement: Christians have mixed reactions

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post

As Occupy Movements across the country experience police raids and evictions from public parks, Christians remain divided in their support of the movement. Donna Schaper, senior minister for Judson Memorial Church in New York City, is supporting the cause, saying the “most important” appeal of the Occupy Wall Street movement is “the urgency it has for economic justice.” Read more.

Civil Rights Elders Pass Torch to Next Generation

Foley Square Day of Action - Nov. 17 

 Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Mother Jones coverage of Zuccotti Park raid, features Rev. Michael Ellick

Hosting Protestors at Judson - November 17, 2011

First, a few facts: The people who came were tired and wet. We turned away around 40 after we overfilled the room by 11. We're happy to report that there were no incidents.

We had 11 volunteers and some brought food and coffee. There was one pet rat and several pet dogs. Someone from the neighborhood took one of the pet owners home with them, plus pet. There was no press Wednesday night although both Wall Street Journal and Post showed up the first night, when there were fewer volunteers and a bit more chaos.

Agron, our night custodian, has been magnificent. Someone donated and brought in a dozen comforters. Suzanne's deviled eggs, Ted's apples and Allen's coffee -- all went quickly. Thanks to all who helped!

Arundhati Roy Speaks @ Judson

NY Times: Even in Churches, Protesters Can’t Escape Watch of Police

"At Judson...ministers believed that several plainclothes police officers had entered the hall where about 100 protesters were sheltering, but elected not to ask them who they were, believing that if they asked one person for identification, they would have to ask them all" Read more.

Creating Sacred Spaces for Occupiers

Read this list, of blended do’s and don’ts if your congregation or minister decides to open your space as a sanctuary for OWS Protesters. Consider supporting Judson's effort by giving to the Toilet Paper Account. Please indicate your donation is for OWS.

NY Times: Religious Groups Offer Help to Evicted Protesters

"[Judson Memorial Church] has pledged to permit up to 100 protesters to sleep in its cramped Parish Hall from Wednesday night through Saturday morning. The church ministers hope this move will help the demonstrators until they can set up camp either back in Zuccotti Park or elsewhere." Read more.

Press Release: Faith Leaders Condemn Raid on Occupy Wall Street

Demand Mayor Respect Right To Peaceful Protest

Faith leaders across New York reacted in shock to the mayor’s decision to dismantle the protest encampment at Zuccotti Park. In immediate response to the raid.... Read more.

You Can't Evict the Human Spirit

by Senior Minister Donna Schaper

"Why in the middle of the night? Why with so much police power? The good news is that this action, so unnecessary, will build the movement even more." Read more.

WNYC: Religious Groups Join in Wall Street Protests

"Reverend Michael Ellick, of Judson Memorial Church, led a rally of several hundred people on Sunday. "It's the foundation of our scriptural principles, to look after our neighbors," Ellick said." Read more. 

 In Solidarity with OWS, Council of Elders Speaks


Many leaders have told us that we are in a "kairos" moment, and we are inclined to agree. Thank you for standing with us; thank you for your leadership; thank you for lifting your voice with the folks down at Zuccotti Park. Together, we believe we can change the national conversation on issues of economic justice.

Sign our Petition: Multi-faith Support for #Occupy Wall St.

Working with a committee of 14 different faith representatives, we released a statement of religious support for Occupy Wall St.  Within a day of its release on October, 14, 2011, a 100 clergy leaders have signed onto the following statement. It's now up to 235; read it and join them now.

View the gallery of the joint statement from the Associated Press.

Rev. Michael Ellick Appears on PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Watch Religious Voices from Occupy Wall Street on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

October 23 Multi-faith Service at Zuccotti Park

To support for #OccupyWallSt., we have been leading multi-faith worship services at Zuccotti Park at 3:30 pm.  See the gallery from October 23 with photographs courtesy of Erik McGregor.


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Watch: Occupy Wall Street: Faith on the Street

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

OWS Takes Washington Square Park

by Donna Schaper, October 16, 2011

Washington Square Park filled up like a great bellows Saturday night with intense energy from the Times Square action joining some New York University energy. The bellows filled and then they emptied, right before midnight in a peaceful march exiting the park through the South. Not every one left and some were arrested. At 12:15 a.m the picture of the park wearing a necklace of navy blue was disconcerting, to say the least. "The park is empty," the police announced. There is nothing pretty about that gorgeous vital thriving park being empty. Police on horses went through. Some imagined that the park was secured.

About a dozen Judson members and community ministers gathered to open part of our building as a comfort station for both police and protesters. We found out the action was happening about 6 p.m. on Saturday. We prayed in our own ways that the larger cause of economic justice in the movement not become a police/community brawl. Last night's event—in the wake of the Times Square protests which resulted in dozens of arrests-- got very close to changing the conversation off economic injury and injustice into a confrontation of "people power" and "police power." "Who can take the park?" is a smaller question than who can eat and work and pay rent. How we renew democracy and restore the economy to justice are questions of tremendous importance. Police and demonstrators both want both politics and economy to be decent and fair. Many are now suggesting a constitutional amendment that would take money out of politics. Imagine a movement that stops denying the death of democracy, acknowledges it and gets the money out so that great vitality of fair marketplaces can develop. We don’t need police/citizen squabbles so much as police/citizen cooperation.

Still, on Saturday night, we found ourselves propelled into a moment where all we could mumble was "Dramatic non violent action." We spoke through opening doors and bathrooms and staring with worry in a pregnant horror at what was happening half a block away in our front yard. (Judson church sits on the direct South End of Washington Square Park.) There were tense moments. Some protesters mocked the cops. “I smell bacon.” Most were cordial. I heard many “thanks” march out the door as the park closed. Some people got shoved.

Demonstrators -- many of whom looked like a typical University student on a Saturday night -- allowed a few to yell, "cops are pigs." Some sang songs derisively, with good soprano voices and organized accompaniment, "Protect and Serve," taunting the hundreds of policemen with their own slogan. Others got into conversations with the name callers and the satirists and said, "This movement is not anti-police. They are part of the 99% too." Again, for the most part, people stayed this side of violence.

Fourteen or so were arrested, for refusing to exit the park which closes usually, gracefully, at midnight. What happened on the ground was a stand off, with some part of the OWS hydra headed, fluid organization wanting to take over another site and others being not so sure. For us we were glad we had our 267 signers on a simple statement, acknowledging that this is a spiritual and moral movement, allied with the Spirit of Occupation Wall Street. All our previous commitments were reviewed on Saturday night.

Even the slogan the "99%" has a way of not holding all of Spirit. Do we really demonize our neighbors at Wall Street? Not at our best. We just want them to share the wealth and refuse their demonization of "us." Ah, look at how language fails us. When language fails us, we get confused. We go back to our native tongue, which is blame, vilification, disorganization, externalization, power as the "power to take the park." The reality lies in the power to give the park away. Dare I suggest that there are soft powers that need to tenderize hard powers? Dare I imagine that the powerful energy of young men is not the only force in the world? Did I notice that the of the 9 organizers who showed up to stash their gear at Judson, at 6, without telling us before that they intended to take the park, 8 were men? “Menarchists,” some have begun to call them, after Saturday night. This split is not one we want in our movement either. Neither Cop/citizen splits or gender splits help us change the politics and the economy.

As the park fills with wonderful human energy this morning, and the movements all look at ourselves and hope we are large enough for their hopes, we remain in conversation about changing the national conversation. Police power is very real. Looking at that ring of mostly young men, deeply blue, at midnight, acting like they had "secured" the park gave me shivers up and down the spirit of my spine. To change the conversation, we have to change many conversations.

Watch Our Golden Calf March to Wall St.

Mic Check! Watch a Golden Calf be marched thru the teaming streets of Manhattan as clergy leaders state their support for Occupy Wall St. in a multi-faith service on October 9, 2011.

Recent Actions & Press Coverage

You Can't Evict the Human Spirit, The Huffington Post, October 15, 2011

Senior Minister Donna Schaper: "Why in the middle of the night? Why with so much police power? The good news is that this action, so unnecessary, will build the movement even more." Read more.

NY Times: Even in Churches, Protesters Can’t Escape Watch of Police

"At Judson...ministers believed that several plainclothes police officers had entered the hall where about 100 protesters were sheltering, but elected not to ask them who they were, believing that if they asked one person for identification, they would have to ask them all" Read more.

NY Times: Religious Groups Offer Help to Evicted Protesters

"[Judson Memorial Church] has pledged to permit up to 100 protesters to sleep in its cramped Parish Hall from Wednesday night through Saturday morning. The church ministers hope this move will help the demonstrators until they can set up camp either back in Zuccotti Park or elsewhere." Read more.

Rev. Ellick's October 9 Multifaith Service

"We’re here to represent NYC’s Communities of Faith. We’re here to thank you, ALL of you, for leading the way. For inspiring us. For reminding us, that this isn’t just a jobs issue, or an education issue, or a health-care issue, this is a spiritual issue, about what the United States has become. You remind us that our Wall Street Bull has become a false-idol, a golden calf, and a symbol of our spiritual poverty. So we are here, from our Synagogues, and our Mosques, and our Churches, to stand with you, and to remind this country, that there can be no such thing as justice, until there is economic justice.

For all of us.An “#occupation” Prayer for the Faith Communities of New York City:

O-God-Who-Is-Beyond-the-Captivity-of-Any-Name, let us not just repeat the old teachings in our private Sabbath Country Clubs, but let us pour them out in action like Living Water for all people. Amen."

Golden Calf Gallery 

In the gallery below from October 9, 2011, the Rev. Michael Ellick, Minister at Judson Memorial Church, joins the Rev. Dr. Stephen Phelps, Interim Minister at the Riverside Church, and the Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church. They are followed by the golden calf, much better described in Exodus 32.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


Press Coverage

"Religious Voices from Occupy Wall Street," PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, October 27, 2011

"Growing numbers of religious groups are offering spiritual and moral support to protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Watch excerpts of interviews in Zuccotti Park with Rev. Michael Ellick, minister of Judson Memorial Church in NY" and more. Watch now.

"Inside Zuccotti Park," by Michael Greenberg in The New York Review of Books includes Judson's golden calf on the front cover of the November 10, 2011 issue. Read more.


"Religion claims its place in Occupy Wall Street," Associated Press, October 24, 2011. See the gallery from the October 14, 2011 joint statement of multi-faith support for Occupy Wall St.

"Interfaith groups embrace Occupy Wall Street," Examiner.com, October, 20, 2011

Over 260 diverse faith communities and leaders have now signed on to a statement of solidarity with the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, girding the month-old movement with a “moral and spiritual statement in support of a new democratic energy," according to Rev. Sr. Minister Dr. Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church. Read more.

"#OccupyWallStreet: Without a Vision, the People Will Perish," The Huffington Post, October 19, 2011

"We're organizing faith communities around issues of economic justice and we see this as the mark to do it," [Rev. Michael] Ellick said before making a small motion toward the Zuccotti Park crowds and adding, "This will fade. This will fade tomorrow." Read and watch more.

"Protest Cleanup Also Aims for Wall Street Cleanup," Voice of America, October 15, 2011

"We need some fundamental changes in how money, resources and time are distributed in this country," said [Rev. Dr. Donna] Schaper. "And Wall Street has taken too much profit, the few have too much, and the many have too little." Read and watch more.

"The Golden Calf and Occupy Wall Street," The Huffington Post, October 13, 2011

"In church and in the streets, the cheers and prayers were overwhelming. Photographers and TV crews flocked to us. Apparently you don't need to know your Exodus to understand a symbol of idolatry." Read more.

"What Is the Clergy's Role in Occupy Wall Street?" The Huffington Post, October 13, 2011

"Religions don't agree on everything," Reverend Schaper said, "but we do agree about idolatry and the golden rule." Read more.

"Occupy Wall Street, The Golden Calf and the New Idolatry, " The Huffington Post, October 11, 2011

Donna Schaper: "We brought the calf to Wall Street to confess our allegiance to false Gods and to announce that something was dying for us...What is dead is Wall Street's control of the conversation and us." Read more.


Judson's Golden Calf is featured on the cover of The Washington Post, October 10, 2011. Read the article.


"‘Protest chaplains’ shepherd movement’s spiritual side," The Washington Post, October 10, 2011

“We think Wall Street has become idolatrous,” said the Rev. Donna Schaper, senior minister at New York’s Judson Memorial Church and one of more than 50 clergy who joined the New York protest, independent of the chaplains group. Read the article.

Rev. Donna Schaper speaks on The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, October 10, 2011

Brian Lehrer led an open discussion on the role of faith in national economicy policy and Occupy Wall St. Listen to Rev. Dr. Schaper's interview in the second part. 

"Religious Groups Join in Wall Street Protests," WNYC News Blog, October 10, 2011

"Reverend Michael Ellick, of Judson Memorial Church, led a rally of several hundred people on Sunday. "It's the foundation of our scriptural principles, to look after our neighbors," Ellick said. The protests, he said, were motivating clergy across the country." Read more.

Occupy Wall Street: Christians Debate if Jesus Would 'Occupy' With Protesters, The Christain Post, October 10, 2011

"Judson Memorial Church and Union Theological Seminary organized an interfaith event at Zucotti Park, where the "Occupy Wall Street" (OWS) protests are being held. Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders addressed the crowd as supporters held signs with slogans such as "Jesus is with the 99%" and "You cannot serve God and Wealth – Matthew 6:24." Read more.

Occupy Wall Street: Christians Debate if Jesus Would 'Occupy' With Protesters, UPI, October 10, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York Sunday paraded a shiny effigy of the biblical golden calf modeled after the iconic Wall Street "Charging Bull," an 11-foot-high bronze statue, symbolizing a Wall Street bull market indicating aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. Read more.

"Sex, drugs, and hiding from the law at the Wall Street protests," The New York Post, October 10, 2011

“You have woken up all of us ... We will stand with you in every city, every state and every country across this globe,” said Michael Ellick, minister at Judson Memorial Church near Washington Square. Read more.

"Clergy Members March Alongside "Occupy Wall Street" Protesters," NY1, October 10, 2011

Rev. Michael Ellick is featured in NY1's coverage of the clergy supporting Occupy Wall St. Watch the video.

Judson Memorial and Riverside Church Featured as Leading Religious Support for Occupy Wall St. on Sunday, October 9, 2011 


'Occupy Wall Street' Starts Its Fourth Week, My Fox News NY

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