photo © 2008 Frank Kovalchek | more info (via: Wylio)
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:11-13
Earlier this week, I posted “Harmony and Gunfire”, a post in which I shared the blessings of our amazing MLK Day celebration and contrast it had with the gunfire that erupted just a few minutes after we left the community. It was with fear and trembling that I hit the “post” button because there was this little voice asking, “Do you really want people to know that there was gunfire in the community during the daylight hours so close to an event?, What if people don’t come to Hillside anymore because they are afraid?”
On Tuesday night at 7pm, two women were gunned down in Hillside court, one losing her life. Somehow through this tragedy, God has instilled boldness in my spirit. My petty fears over “What people will think?” or “How it will impact Embrace?”, now seem so ridiculous in the midst of the continued insanity that is all around my friends who live in Hillside court. Three weeks into the new year, three shootouts, three dead. It’s time to get over our fear and seek peace in our city! I am thankful the Richmond Times Dispatch actually did a great write up laying out the detail of the murders in this small 440 unit complex.Read article here for a fuller background.
Monday we had more than 40 volunteers from 4 local congregations turn out to celebrate MLK Day with us in Hillside and Fairfield Court. We had over 300 community residents participate in these celebrations. It was wonderful to see black, white, people of means, people with limited means, urban, suburban, Christian, non-Christian all together celebrating the progress this nation has made toward racial equality as a result of the sacrifice and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
photo © 1963 The U.S. National Archives | more info (via: Wylio)
Today all across this country countless readings of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” address will be read. However, it is his words from his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” written on April 16, 1963 that I wanted to invite you to reflect upon today. This letter was written to me – the white, moderate, Christian. These excerpts still sting with the truth that they exposed back in 1963.
Below are the words of Dr. King:
Every time I teach Unity Works and people hear Charles’s story of how God set him free of addiction through an AA based recovery program, someone asks a question similar to this one from a participant a while back, “”I still have questions in my mind about the “God of my understanding”. Does AA proclaim the Gospel or is the “God” a universal ie Budah, etc…..God? When and where is Jesus? I understand the challenge of needing to be non-denominational but how is Christ proclaimed?”
photo © 2006 Irina Iordachescu | more info (via: Wylio)
I don’t know what is broken inside my brain but for some reason when things are going good, I start expecting the sky to cave in. I seem to have an extra dose of worry built into my DNA.
Street Saints; Renewing America’s Cities by Barbara J. Elliott is one of my all time favorite books. Elliott has captured stories from across the country that demonstrate the power of the ordinary person who seek to be a blessing to their community. My favorite chapter is the chapter titled the “Nehemiah Strategy” through which Elliott shows us the power of organizing the efforts of grassroots initiatives using the analogy of the story of Nehemiah. Below are some of my favorite quotes.