response: General Conference 2016

Out of the Rocking Chair, Into the Fire

Eugene, Oregon's Raging Grannies prove women of all ages can be a force for change.

Out of the Rocking Chair, Into the Fire

Raging Granny Laurie Granger holds a banner during the Healthy Climate Rally and Lobby Day in Salem, Oregon.

“Out of the Rocking Chair, Into the Fire,” is the motto of the Raging Grannies. Laurie Granger, founder of the Eugene, Oregon, chapter is among the activists you’ll find as United Methodist Women members gather at General Conference on May 16, 2016.

Ms. Granger will be fired up along with other “grannies” and activists singing songs of protest and solidarity with those fighting for clean water for all and against environmental racism in Portland, Oregon.

Their theme on United Methodist Women’s Day will be “Don’t Poison Our Water.” We caught up with Ms. Granger by phone as she was tweaking the lyrics of the protest songs that the group will be singing.

response: Who are the Raging Grannies?

Granger: Grannies from all over who are devoted to making a difference in this world of ours. We are out in the streets promoting peace, justice, social and economic equality and protection of this earth we call home through song and humor. No small matter.

Grannies are courageous, creative and talented elders who care passionately about the future of our global children and grandchildren and all species living on Mother Earth. We believe that singing helps to keep people’s spirits alive and makes clear to others why they are standing up against what is happening in their world and that they are not alone.

Grannies also represent an attitude. I call it “the Granny spirit.”

response: Where do you get your inspiration?

Granger: “Dare to declare who you are. It is not far from the shores of silence to the boundaries of speech. The path is not long, but the way is deep. You must not only walk there, you must be prepared to leap,” said Hildegard of Bingen.

My passion and dedication to being a Granny primarily stems from my professional background as a systemic family therapist, which relates to the most precious and best part of my life, being a mother and grandmother.

response: Why is access to clean water important for United Methodist Women members?

Granger: As United Methodist Women said about the rally: The human rights to water and sanitation and to health are critical concerns for communities around the world, as governments and transnational corporations seek to cut costs and make profits by circumventing environmental protections and ignoring the needs of poor communities.

As people of faith we need to call on our local, state and national governments to guarantee safe, affordable and adequate water and sanitation for all. This year United Methodist Women members are studying the mission study Climate Justice: A Call to Hope and Action, and we are bringing legislation to General Conference on protection of water. We join with other United Methodist partners and local community groups to call out environmental racism and lift up the right to clean water for all.

response: Why get involved in General Conference?

Granger: As a pastor's spouse I attended the New York Annual Conference in both Connecticut and Long Island, witnessing the election of delegates for General Conference every four years and hearing about their issues and activities. For the first time I have the opportunity to have a voice as an activist in what happens at General Conference on issues that are so important to our world: the environment and equality.

response: What can we expect on May 16, 2016?

Granger: We have created songs for the theme. We speak for the unheard. “Who cares? We care!” We are going to end with the song “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands.” There will be at least 20 Grannies there to say, in our special way: Don’t poison our water.

Raging Grannies will be a part of United Methodist Women’s “Don’t Poison Our Water: Water Is a Human Right” rally, part of a daylong celebration of United Methodist Women on Monday, May 16, 2016, at General Conference.

“This puts our commitment to the Charter for Racial Justice and our work on economic justice front and center, as well as caring for God’s creation,” said United Methodist Women Executive for Community Action Carol Barton. 

Join the Raging Grannies in song and solidarity as they witness for environmental justice outside at the Oregon Convention Center Plaza in Portland, Oregon, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. on Monday, May 16. Volunteers are needed. More details on United Methodist Women Day at 
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Posted or updated: 5/9/2016 11:00:00 PM

raging grannies in the rain Raging Grannies from Eugene, Portland and Salem, Oregon, kick off the Healthy Climate Rally and Lobby Day on the steps of the Oregon Capitol in February 2016.

water is a human right

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#cleanh2o4all #right2water

UMWday is 5/16/16

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