Hello Grace family,
Happy summertime—I hope this email finds you each well!
Following on the heels of our recently completed "Race, Whiteness, and the Church" class, the leadership team at Grace wanted to make you all aware of an opportunity to take action in line with some of the many things we have been learning this past year.
You may have seen a recent opinion piece in the Seattle Times written by Rev. Robert Jeffrey, Sr. who is Senior Pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in the Central District. It's well worth the read and you can find it here. In the article, Pastor Jeffrey shares the story of the city of Seattle using eminent domain to take land from New Hope in 1969 and makes a case for local reparations from the city. To bring attention to New Hope's petition, Rev. Jeffrey is organizing a rally this Saturday at noon at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
No doubt the topic of reparations can be confusing and even divisive. Some of you may be in full support of the concept, while others might be wary and skeptical. Regardless of where you may land on the matter, this is an opportunity to come offer a ministry of presence and listening to our black brothers and sisters in Christ. For a deeper dive on the issue of reparations, Gregory Thompson led a fantastic class in our series describing a Christian perspective on reparations. You can watch it here.
Whereas last Sunday's party was an application of Nelson Hall's sermon to offer hospitality as hosts in the community, this weekend's gathering gives us a small opportunity to join our Christian family and neighbors as guests in the community. This is an opportunity to be allies in initiatives led by Black churches. It's also an opportunity to publicly stand in solidarity with other churches, which we don't often have the opportunity to do here in Seattle. Pastor Jason spoke with Pastor Jeffrey yesterday, and the Reverend is very welcoming of local churches coming in support.
Some of us will be leaving from the water tower on the south side of Volunteer Park at 11:30 AM and you are welcome to join us, or simply meet us at New Hope.
Please feel free to email me with questions.
Grace and peace,