Tag Archives: public policy

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“The King’s Jubilee”

We marked our 25th anniversary in February for The King’s Jubilee. I wrote then about many of the ministries we have been involved in through the years. I think we are in need of a review as to the meaning of the name of this ministry, as it reveals its core purpose and direction. In the last couple of years, a few people have not understood this and it has led to conflict.

The first thing one should know is that it is “The King’s” Jubilee. We are not talking about King as in Martin Luther King. We are referring to The King of Kings, Jesus Christ. I have long said, that if I can’t do it in Jesus’ Name, I don’t have time to do it. Now the biblical concept of  doing something in someone’s name does not mean just saying the words. It means to act according to that person’s will. Nevertheless, to be sure to have the freedom to do this, we have never solicited nor will we ever accept government funding; nor do we solicit or accept any corporate or United Way funding that would require secularization of our services. Years ago a volunteer was pressured at his workplace for 100% participation in United Way. He designated $2,000 to The King’s Jubilee. We were told that if we so much as said a prayer of blessing or mentioned Jesus anywhere near anything we bought with the money, it would be a violation of their rules. We would have to keep separate accounts and have a completely secular program to use their money. I told them we could not comply with those ridiculous requirements. They never informed our volunteer of their decision not to forward the money according to his donor choice. I did.

On another note, it is the King’s because it is Christ’s love that compels us to serve. When I am asked by one of those we serve, why I keep coming after I have been mistreated by either some of the people or the police or the mayor, I say, “Jesus loves you. His love compels me to be here.” You see, I can’t always say that I love them. Now, after 25 years, I have grown to know and love some of them, but certainly not all of them. There are new faces each week, and my memory is not that strong, and I am not that holy. It would not be good news that I love them. Who am I? It is Good News that Jesus loves them. Of course, most of them are far better Christians than I am. The rest are better Muslims, or better Hindi, or better atheists, or better Buddhists. It is the King’s because this King lowered himself to become the servant of all. We go in a spirit of joy and a spirit of service. We endeavor to treat people with respect and dignity and kindness, the way we would like to be treated.

cropped-tkjprofile.jpgThis ministry did not just set out to serve homeless people on the streets. It is The King’s Jubilee. A major part of the Law of Moses had to do with the sabbath years and the year of jubilee, or sabbath of sabbaths, every 50 years. This was all about healing and second chances and radical redistribution of wealth. Every seventh year, all the slaves were to be freed for the year in order for them to be given a chance to earn enough to buy back their freedom. The land was given a rest to let it restore itself, as well. Every 50 years, all debts were cancelled; slaves were set free; the land was returned to its original owners or their heirs. This was not an optional or “freewill” plan. It was to be part of the government. If a man did not comply, he was to lose his inheritance completely and no longer be a citizen of Israel. However the Israelites never really kept these years. They were very important to God, however. So important, in fact, that God caused the nation to go into captivity for every one of these years they failed to keep.

You see, the Law of Moses was to be a model government for the nations of a direction toward mercy, toward economic equality, toward elimination of slavery. The year of jubilee was a type of the coming of the Lord. There are jubilary psalms that start with “Shout for joy” or “Lift a shout!” The jubilee year started with the sounding of the horn and a mighty shout from all the people. We hear this again in the culmination of the age in the Revelation to St. John in the sounding of the trumpets. It is a signal that God is finally making all things right. Justice is being meted out. Well, Jesus is the King. In his first public message, he referenced Isaiah 61 which is about “the acceptable year of the Lord.” It is a “jubilee song” speaking of the final jubilee to which all the 50 year jubilees pointed. He said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” He proclaimed Himself and his church to be that Jubilee. This is further confirmed by St. James’ understanding of the economic implications of the gospel. The Epistle of James was the first book to be written of the New Testament. It is mostly about the evils of economic inequality. “Go to ye rich, weep and howl …” “Where do wars come from? …” “judges with evil minds”, etc.  I have already posted James 5:1-8 without comment on Facebook and had two priests accuse me of being a communist for it. I told them their argument obviously is with St. James, not me, since I had not commented. St. James had the mind of Christ and the natural progression from the jubilary concepts of Moses.

So this ministry is called The King’s Jubilee because we are trying to get resources from where they are to where they need to be. When we started in 1989, Montgomery and Bucks counties were two of the wealthiest counties in the country and home to the per capita wealthiest evangelical denomination in the world, the Mennonites. We were Mennonite at the time. This area was wealthy due to one reason: white flight from Philadelphia. They had sold their farmland for subdivision and made a killing. There was a whole generation that were builders and tradesmen who earned enough off of this development to send their children through college. The next generation came back as professional people. Some of the developers had even larger businesses off of the new population. The grocery stores expanded, etc. At the same time, they cut their support for ministry in the city and closed some of their mission outreach in the areas where they had originally started in Philadelphia.

Hundreds of churches have closed in Philadelphia. Crack wiped out a generation of mothers. Prison took a generation of fathers. Grandmas were left to raise babies. Little store front churches were overwhelmed with the tasks set before them. Meanwhile new churches were being built in the suburbs and people were building bigger McMansions and praising the Lord in comfortable, bigger, air conditioned barns , nicely forgetting the bad old days in Philadelphia. They wanted to help the poor people in their “own” neighborhoods. Problem is, they intentionally moved away from all those poor folks in Phila. and have zoning laws so they don’t have to see them on a regular basis and highways and no mass transit out here, so they can’t reach us. The suburban soup kitchen has to turn volunteers away. The suburban food bank is staffed by paid help, it is so well funded. Meanwhile, the city is starving.

So, we are The King’s Jubilee. We don’t just want to see food move from the suburbs to the city. We want to see money move to the people in need. We want to see people be personally involved in helping to rebuild neighborhoods for the current residents. We want to see land reform. We want to see people given a second chance. We want to see an end to convicts losing their right to vote. The war on drugs has been a race war by Nixon’s own taped admission. When people have paid their debt to society, the slate should be wiped clean. I learned that from my GOP dad around the dinner table. Imagine that! Stakeholders in a society make better citizens. We want to end homelessness. It is possible. Don’t you dare quote me: “The poor you have with you always.” Do you see the word homeless in there anywhere? I didn’t think so. Homelessness is a stupid shame and is a symptom of our greed and hardheartedness. It actually costs us more as a society to keep these people out on the street than if we would just give them some of the excess apartments that are sitting vacant, no strings attached. Four cities and one state have tried it and have found this to be the case, so I am going to say it again, louder. It actually costs us more as a society to keep these people out on the street than if we would just give them some of the excess apartments that are sitting vacant, no strings attached.

So another aspect of The King’s Jubilee’s ministry as was just demonstrated is the prophetic, both to Christians and to the powers that be, to advocate for the poor and disenfranchised. It’s all wrapped up in the idea of sounding the trumpet or lifting the shout of liberation a la Isaiah 61.

I have been at this for more than 25 years. It has been a life lived in poverty. I have basically worked two jobs the whole time. Only for two brief periods did I have the luxury of pastors who understood and appreciated me and were glad to have me in their congregations. Most pastors feel threatened by me. I have been called by some a fool for Christ, by others, just a fool. They do not understand this ministry. They prefer to do “ministry” where they can market the church and proselytize. The first time Metropolitan PHILIP, of blessed memory, met me, he did not let me reverence him. Instead he reverenced me, and pronounced a loud blessing upon me and upon this ministry. I was just a new catechumen at the time. I do not say this to boast. I do not understand these things. I was ordained to the priesthood as an infant by the Episcopalian bishop who baptized me. No one knows why. I was ordained four other times, none of which I asked for, once in a joint Mennonite Church/ General Conference Mennonite service with a Catholic priest, a Lutheran minister and a Pentecostal bishop joining the MC & GC overseers & pastors in the laying on of hands. We have been investigated on numerous occasions. At least three times during the Rendell years, undercover police tried to run sting operations on us. We have been harassed under three Mayors; threatened with fines and arrest and finally banned. We sued in federal court and won a restraining order to block that. I have been held at gunpoint twice. I have witnessed one shooting and two knifings. What a long strange trip it has been.

What I do know is that serving the poor and homeless is what I am meant to do. Doing it excellently, with care and skill, with attention to nutritional needs, social needs, psychological needs, financial needs, and spiritual needs, brings me joy. There is no better life. Won’t you please join me?

True Story

ptsdI am told that I am too negative about the church and that I am too critical. Well, there is history. I have been bullied by so many pastors and priests, lied to and deceived by spiritual mentors from junior high on up, in fact, so much so, that I have PTSD as a result. A Lutheran pastor expelled me from confirmation class one month before confirmation (after 3 years)  for asking too many questions. A Mennonite pastor, who had been a close friend and mentor, threatened to kill me for forbidding him from bringing inflammatory literature into a prison. For all that, I remained extremely active in church. I was the first man ordained for prison ministry in the Mennonite Church. I was ordained on five occasions in six denominations. None of these ordinations were requested by me. I was willing to give all that up to continue ministry as a layman in the Orthodox Church, as I believed it to have a solid theology and tradition of ministry to the poor, was indeed the church, and would provide a safe base and covering for ministry. Unfortunately, I have not found that to be the case.

Instead, I have found the same jealousy from a pastor who feels threatened by my presence in his church, lies and attacks. But when a family is in need, who is called? The King’s Jubilee. A homeless family of three was referred by the church to Uncle John’s last week. We helped John keep his home and we help feed the men there and keep the phones on, etc. This family can stay there as long as they need to, to get their feet under them. Last spring, we rescued a parishioner who was becoming homeless after losing his job two years prior. He was selling his possessions in the church hall just to have enough gas money to get back and forth to church, until the priest and parish council decided it was too much clutter on the table against the wall and he had to stop. This was during Lent. They did not offer to help him move or help him find a place to live or offer him a spare room. We hired him to revamp the “Come and See” Icons website and Uncle John took him in. He is still there. He is working on a program there to help catch sex-offenders and he volunteers teaching English as a second language. He doesn’t make it to church much. No one from the church calls. The priest didn’t even think to call him until I told him to at Christmas time, and that maybe someone more friendly to the church than our family should do so.

There is no regular support from the church for The King’s Jubilee. There was no offering taken to help Uncle John help this family that is now living with him. John is in bankruptcy himself, while working a full-time job and running two businesses. A couple of years ago, the priest took credit for The King’s Jubilee as if it were a parish ministry, which it is not, in the archdiocesan magazine, without checking with us. This marked us as Antiochian, so then the Russians didn’t want to get involved with us. He only wants to support “ministries” that have good marketing potential in the local area, even though the bishop told him to make sure the church supports The King’s Jubilee regardless of our personal relationship.

But I have seen this pattern too many times before. The evangelicals going for the ‘easy fruit’ refer the hard cases to some other agency or drop them off at the county assistance office with a token grocery gift card. They pray and hope they don’t come back and become a burden on them and the community, so they can go out and find some potential tithers who will fit in better with the existing demographic of the ‘church family’. Spend money on advertising before spending it on ministry where you don’t get a mention in the local press. Sound the trumpets like the Pharisees! It is very much based on a successful sales model, but it is not Christian. It is not Orthodox Christian. Please do not mistake my honesty with malice. I bear no ill will. I want to see the church improved. I want to see the priest get psychiatric help.

We are very grateful for so many who responded generously to rescue us from foreclosure. What we don’t understand is this willingness to rescue us, coupled with what seems like a steadfast unwillingness to rescue the people we serve or to support the ministry in such a way so that we wouldn’t need rescuing. We know that several of you have made monthly commitments or make quite sizeable annual donations. We are not talking about you. It’s the rest of you. Many of you want to criticize me for one thing or another. I am an easy target. I speak my mind. I really have no good reason to not speak my mind. When I have done that, it has never been rewarded, only betrayed.

“The laborer is worthy of his hire.” If the church is going to use us to take care of its poor problem, then maybe it should publicly acknowledge that, or maybe there should be some real support instead of, “Be warm and well fed … .”

Please click the friendly yellow “Donate” button to use Paypal to make a recurring monthly donation. It’s painless. God bless you!

To Help 1,000,000 Pennsylvanians Have Better Health

Most of you are probably unaware, Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW) just released a new health care proposal with its version of Medicaid Expansion, which also drastically diminishes the current Medicaid benefits. The state’s proposal delays healthcare access for a year to 500,000 newly eligible people and reduces coverage for more than a million people already on Medicaid — seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable individuals and families.

Right now is the public comment period. We are encouraging allies to weigh in online and at hearings across the state (see list below).  Information and talking points are available through the Project HOME website.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Upcoming Hearings: (Note: A Cover the Commonwealth Coalition Press Conference will be at 9:30 before each hearing.)

Friday, January 3, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Registration Deadline: Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday, January 6, 2014, in Scranton, PA
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hilton Scranton & Conference Center
100 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA, 18503
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014, in Altoona, PA
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Blair County Convention Center
1 Convention Center Drive
Altoona, PA 16602
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014, in Harrisburg, PA
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
300 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Registration Deadline: Monday, January 6, 2014

A Responsive Prayer for Justice

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A wonderful litany from the Friends tradition. It is unusual because the Friends are not very liturgical.

A Responsive Prayer for Justice

Pray for those who are hungry.
Pray harder for those who will not feed them.
Pray for those who struggle each week to pay their bills.
Pray harder for the wealthy who do not care.
Pray for those who are homeless.
Pray harder for those who deny them shelter.
Pray for the sick and lonely.
Pray harder for those who will not give them comfort.
Pray for those who cry out for dignity.
Pray harder for those who will not listen.
Pray for those oppressed by unjust wages.
Pray harder for those who exploit them.
Pray for those who bear the yoke of prejudice.
Pray harder for those who discriminate against them.
Pray for those whose basic needs are denied.
Pray harder for the public officials who cater to the greedy and ignore those bound unjustly.
Amen.

Free Safe Serve Class – Sept. 28

Serving the homeless is not a crime.We have arranged with the City of Philadelphia Health Dept. to offer the Safe Serve class and certification at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church at 7th and Brown on September 28. This is a free two hour class on safe food handling and preparation and is required for those who wish to cook meals for the street. We need to get the word out there. We are concerned for food safety and best practices. This is not a burdensome requirement. This is mostly common sense stuff. There are a number of people who have the idea that just anything is better than nothing, and that is a dangerous idea. At The King’s Jubilee, first we want to be safe. We strive for nutritional and culinary excellence!

We will be starting at noon with a ministry orientation and sharing of the vision of The King’s Jubilee. The Safe Serve class will start at 1pm. Anyone is welcome to join us. You need to preregister for the class with us for me to turn the list in to the Health Dept. ahead of time, to take the class to get certified. Please email me with your name, street address, phone number, and email address, before September 24, to be included. The certification is good for five years. Please help share this, so we can improve the food safety for those seeking meals on the street.

The orientation portion of the program is to help build the ministry and improve our level of service among the poor and homeless, as well as explore the possibility of branching out into other areas of ministry. Please join us.

email: tkj@shoutforjoy.net

It Can’t Be Time to Stop!

April and our grandsons helped me make the pot of turkey gumbo and a big roaster pan of beans, rice and zucchini for last night. It was a hardy soup with the meat and broth from a whole roasted turkey, 2 pounds of chopped red sweet peppers, 2 fennels, 2 pounds of okra, 2 diced onions, 2 pounds of sliced carrots, 1-1/2 pounds of quartered radishes, 2 pounds of chopped beets, 2 chopped kohlrabi, fresh corn from 10 ears, fresh basil, fresh parsley, turmeric, chicken broth, fresh garlic, a diced ginger root, and fresh ground black pepper.

I washed out the large, agate, turkey roaster pan and put the zucchini mixture that April had made. It had a jalapeno pepper, onion, sweet red pepper, and all sorts of seasonings, sauteed in olive oil. I made a rice cooker full of whole grain rice with some turmeric added to the water. I mixed in the rice, three cans of black beans and added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder, a bit more water and stirred it all up. Then I put the lid on and put it in the oven to slow roast at 180 for 4 hours.

I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded up the TKJ-mobile with the baked goods, the crackers and chips. I went to Giant and bought the 10 gallons of iced tea and 350 hot/cold cups and more spoons and another bottle of hot sauce. I filled the hand washing station with hot water and loaded that in the car. Kristi brought a few loaves of sandwiches. Brian arrived and helped me remember the spoon and ladle. Then Serge arrived with several more loaves of sandwiches. So it was 7 and Brian and I left for the city. At 8, we arrived at 1801 Vine in center city. Billy and his wife, Julie, and their two daughters were there along with Stephen and Anthony. They and a couple of the other guys helped us unload and set up. The line was all the way across the park already. Bob arrived with his homemade cookies. A couple of young people from Inner-City Mission were playing guitar and singing and using a cardboard box for percussion. We got all set up. Billy asked the musicians to stop for a moment so he could say a blessing for the food. Then we started serving.

A few more volunteers arrived and joined the line. We ran out of everything. The McGraws showed up with pasta and sauce just as we ran out of soup and beans and rice. Everyone who was there when we arrived got something to eat, but some who arrived later got very little or nothing. We saw several new faces we had never seen before. Several of these were very frustrated and agitated at having missed out on dinner. Once the major cuts in food stamps kick in in November, I can’t imagine what the situation will be.

I just can’t imagine it would be God’s will for us to stop now. We are in an impossible situation, financially and vocationally. The business is closed. Bethann is out of work and unemployment is running out. No one has registered for the Hummus Open golf tournament. I do have a woodworking job next week. There are some projects at Cogsville that we hope will start to pay off. A couple of donations came in from new donors in the last couple of days.

The need is just too great. People need to step up. This is not the time for us to be quitting. The safety net in place since the Great Depression has been largely dismantled. It’s time to put up or shut up. That’s on top of the fact that it would just kill me to stop. This is not just something I happen to do on Thursday nights. It is when I am most fully alive. Maybe it’s as simple as that old song: “Everybody eats when they come to my house!”

I’m sure it’s not. I’m sure there are better reasons to give than to make me happy. Consider this. If this ministry folds and November comes, there may be blood running in the streets. Ours is not the only ministry that is underfunded. The spirit of meanness has infected much of the country. Even though tax rates are down and stocks are up, nothing is trickling down and charitable giving has declined, because the super-rich don’t give to the poor. Most giving to the poor comes from the lower middle class. There is hardly any lower middle class left. Seriously, this country is not prepared for what is going to happen when people run out of food, and worse yet, run out of food for their children, due to the meanness of these legislators and their worship of Ayn Rand atheism.

May God have mercy and deliver us from our foolishness and greed.

The Training of Men

usps92sta034Now the training of men is a difficult and intricate task. Its technique is a matter for educational experts, but its object is for the vision of seers. If we make money the object of man-training, we shall develop money-makers but not necessarily men; if we make technical skill the object of education, we may possess artisans but not, in nature, men. Men we shall have only as we make manhood the object of the work of the schools—intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is, and of the relation of men to it—this is the curriculum of that Higher Education which must underlie true life. On this foundation we may build bread winning, skill of hand and quickness of brain, with never a fear lest the child and man mistake the means of living for the object of life. . . .And so we come to the present—a day of cowardice and vacillation, of strident wide-voiced wrong and faint hearted compromise; of double-faced dallying with Truth and Right.
- W.E.B. DuBois

Another Operation: Clean Start kit delivered

Last night, I loaded up the newly redecorated TKJ-mobile with boxes of various household goods, dishes, groceries, a microwave and a Clean Start kit and set off for the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. Darren had moved in a few months ago, but he had just let me know a week or so ago. He has asthma and part of the apartment is carpeted, so he asked for a vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies. I told him about Operation: Clean Start, so we had the cleaning supplies covered. The vacuum cleaner might be more of a stretch. He called me on Tuesday to tell me that Food stamps had messed up a file, so he did not receive any and would not get any until they fixed that. (Of course, thanks to the GOP sequester, food stamps are severely reduced at any rate.) Could I bring him some food?

It turned out he did not need the microwave, but one of his neighbors did. I cleared out The King’s Jubilee emergency pantry of canned goods and pasta for him. Then I handed him $100 in cash for him to use at the thrift store or grocery store to fill in the gaps. Hopefully he will be able to find a vacuum and get some more food with that. Darren was very thankful. He is a kind soul. He is glad to have a secure place to call home after living under a bridge for seven years.

If you support this ministry by your prayers, with your donations or with your service, you helped him make it through those years. God bless you.

There are many more like Darren who we need to help find a way home.  I need to add that we are not finished in our relationship with Darren or the others who have moved off of the street. We continue to serve and to aid in skills development and community integration. This is not just a Thursday night ministry. But to keep up this level of ministry, we need more, regular, pledged support. Please pray and consider what God would have you do to help us end the shame of homelessness in Philadelphia.

Rosa Parks Centenary

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I don’t think most people realize that Rosa Parks did not just impulsively decide to not stand up and give up her seat on that bus. She had arduously, spiritually and psychologically prepared for that moment. She had been to an intensive training on social change and non-violent resistance at the Highlander Folk School. The community had prepared for the all too predictable reaction and the plan for the bus boycott was already in place. The stage was set for this soft-spoken, gracious, Christian lady to become the match that lit the fire to burn the whole house of cards known as Jim Crow down!

But old demons have ways of rearing their heads with new guises. Nixon’s “War on Drugs” has led to horrible consequences. It was aimed at people of color from start to finish, even though drug use is higher among whites who have higher disposable income.

Now, with US incarceration rates higher than any nation ever, even those of apartheid South Africa or Stalin’s Soviet Russia, don’t think that the fight for human rights in this country is over! If you are Latino, you are three times more likely than a white man to be locked up. If you are black, you are eight times more likely to be locked up. Yet crime rates don’t follow the same patterns.

We need several more Rosa Parks’s today.

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State