One Million Bones

Banner for One Million Bones Project

On Wednesday April 24, 2013 our group of “hikers” walked with Hovak Najarian into a place of death as we remembered the Armenian Genocide (1915). For some, like me, it was the first time I had ever heard of the atrocities in Armenia at the start of World War I. This is the handout that opened our eyes and hearts.

As we remembered this genocide, “the first genocide of the 20th century,” we were forced to look at how this evil has continued and still continues into our own day. We discovered several resources that can only serve to help us ask and answer the question, “How am I to love my neighbor as I love myself?”

The One Million Bones Project recently came to my attention via the TED Blog. Combining ‘art’ and study a stunning visual installation is being prepared for The Mall in Washington, D.C. and will be in place June 8–June 10, 2013.

Here is a quick look to explain how this project and its installations work. This video documents a smaller installation done in Albuquerque, NM:

My introduction to the One Million Bones Project came via the TED Blog interview with Naomi Natale posted on May 24, 2013:

For four years, artist Naomi Natale’s social art practice, the One Million Bones project, has used education, hands-on artmaking and public art installation to raise awareness of ongoing genocide and mass atrocities. On June 8, Naomi and the One Million Bones team will be joined by thousands of volunteers to lay down the one million human “bones,” which participants have made by hand, on the National Mall in Washington, DC — creating a striking visual representation of conflicts we cannot continue to ignore.

Introduction to the interview with Naomi Natale

Please read the entire interview. Please listen to the Spirit and make your own determination about what you can ….

Additional Resources

Wind Chimes: 18 Oct 2012

But if I go East—He is not there;
West—I still do not perceive Him;
North—since He is concealed, I do not behold Him;
South—He is hidden, and I cannot see Him. —Job 23:8-9

Through the rest of this week we’ll wonder, with Job, where is God? Where is God in the midst of enormous challenges facing his creation and his ‘children’ throughout creation—even those we consider our ‘enemies’? And where is God in the challenges we face? ~dan

Listen to the wind in the chimes for a while. What do you hear?

Prayer words from the Psalms …

The psalmists know how to plead, lament, complain, express anger AND how to move from those places to places of trust. We used this Psalm in our midweek worship at St. Margaret’s on 10/17/12:

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, * because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.
2 The cords of death entangled me; the grip of the grave took hold of me; * I came to grief and sorrow.
3 Then I called upon the Name of the Lord: * “O Lord, I pray you, save my life.”
4 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; * our God is full of compassion.
5 The Lord watches over the innocent; * I was brought very low, and he helped me.
6 Turn again to your rest, O my soul, * for the Lord has treated you well.
7 For you have rescued my life from death, * my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
8 I will walk in the presence of the Lord * in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:1-8 on p. 759 of The Book of Common Prayer

Prayer words from the Prayer Book

Every Wednesday, after the Eucharist at St. Margaret’s, a group of us meet for a “Spiritual Day Hike.” We (figuratively) hike along trails up to peaks and vistas, through passes wending our way down the hillside into the valleys below, and sometimes we walk along streams in the meadows. The trails are left by our ancestors in the faith: in the Bible, in prayers, in writings, in hymns and songs, and so on. Currently we are exploring the expansive ‘Meadow of the Collects’ (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 211-261). Jean, one of our hikers, shared a prayer she uses daily as she seeks God in the midst of chronic pain and discomfort:

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

A prayer “In the Morning” on p. 461 of The Book of Common Prayer

An “Arrow Prayer” (when darkness overwhelms) from the Psalms

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. –Psalm 43:3

“Arrow Prayer” is a term used to describe a prayer which is offered quickly in the moment. Prayers of thanksgiving often come in the form of arrow prayers. Arrow prayers are also helpful in times of distress. “Help me, God!” “Holy one, watch over me.” “Walk with me Jesus, for I am afraid.” These arrow prayers are also prayers of praise and thanksgiving for they recognize God’s on-going presence in daily life.

From a paper written by Jane E. Vennard: Exploring a Life of Prayer