People are asking: Why are we going to 46th and Market on Sunday night? (Why do you try to get me to do these things?)
The pastors answered this on their video Wednesday.
I want to emphasize one thing here about why we are going. We are going to pray. We will be grieving and remembering people who have been killed by the police. But, even more, we will be interceding for the police and claiming the block where the new police station is being built for peace. We will be seeding a new era of nonviolence and a new spirit of love in the community.
Pray for that new era to begin right now.
On Sunday night the Compassion Core Team spread out to the congregations to lead us in prayer. Some of you missed it. That’s OK. Pray now. I asked for the team’s script so we could try it again in preparation for all of us to pray in solidarity on Sunday. What follows is my prayer litany, based on their guide.
They began with reminding us that Black Lives Matter. The movement named after that fact and rallying cry began in 2012 with Trayvon Martin. In 2014 its prophetic fire was stoked with the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown. This Sunday marks one year since Mike Brown was shot. We are going to pray in remembrance. Add your support on Facebook by clicking the picture and joining the event.
Pray for people to show up, to make their love visible.
The outcry has continued to grow stronger: outrage over state violence, demands for human rights and dignity, acknowledgement of the 25% of black women living in poverty, revulsion over mass incarceration of black men, and resistance to systemic white supremacy. As we honor and create space to remember Mike Brown, we also embrace the pain of black people that has risen to a very public surface in the U.S. We are aware of the injustices black people in this nation face [if you are not check this out]. We are stirred up to advocate for justice with them.
Pray for prophetic, righteous anger, and the promise of salvation in Jesus.
The presence of Jesus illuminates the sin-ridden practice of injustice in any society (or church!). Jesus offers a way of peace that is radical enough to include both the oppressed and the oppressors. The work of peace is rooted in relationships. Peace making requires us to make space for people: to see them, hear them, and journey together in our mutual desire to be our true selves living in love.
Pray for light in the darkness.
Jesus became poor. The Savior was killed by the state. He offers us a demanding struggle as he calls us into his peacemaking work. His love at work in us demands that we cultivate our own awareness of the injustice that so many in the nation cannot help but see. 44% of Philadelphians are labelled black, 31% of Camden County. In light of recent events the so-labeled black and white of Circle of Hope and whoever they can convince to pray with them need to gather and move with this new wind of antiracism and resistance to violence that is blowing.
Pray for sails raised and catching the wind of the Spirit.