February 2nd the President seemed to imply that Frederick Douglass is still alive. I suppose we can be grateful he knows the name of the lion of Abolition. This is an educational opportunity not only for the President, but for our country. February is Black History Month and we have just had illustrated for us in a vivid way why this month dedicated to the struggles and accomplishments of African-Americans is still so very needed.
Speaking of opportunities, I want you to be aware of a play being hosted by our friends at Temple Micah and performed by Mosaic Theater, The Gospel of Loving-Kindness. Here is what Rabbi Zemel shared with me about this opportunity:
Last year Mosaic Theater ran a production of the “Gospel of Lovingkindness,” a powerful play that addresses gun violence and youth in a poignant, intimate way. One member of our Gun Violence Prevention working group saw the play and thought it would be an excellent way to raise awareness in our own community. So we got in touch with Mosaic, and they agreed to bring a traveling production (black box style, minimal blocking, no set) to Temple Micah this March, and to follow it with a post-show discussion, to help us connect with gun violence on a deeper level. The performance will take place in our sanctuary and is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, March 4th, 2017.
One of our group’s primary goals has been to educate children and bring them into the conversation, whenever it is age appropriate. We believe that this play is appropriate children as young as middle school, if they are accompanied by an adult. We have also been focusing more recently on the importance of conversations and collaboration with other faith based communities, and we know we must work together if anything is to be done about the gun violence epidemic. So we would love to partner with you in this endeavor and invite Riverside Baptist to be a part of the experience.
The evening will end with havdalah, the ritual that brings the Jewish Sabbath to a close.
Here is a review of the production from 2015.
This is an educational, interfaith opportunity to educate our youth and lead them to safety. Will you support this effort and bring a young person or youth? If yes, please email the church or pastor.
This Sunday, February 7th, begins our observance of Black History Month. Pastor Bledsoe will be speaking on the topic, “History As A Weapon of Defiance” (a reference to an excellent essay by Drew Gilpin Faust, “John Hope Franklin: Race & the Meaning of America, “ New York Review of Books, December 17, 2015). An excerpt from that sermon to be delivered:
Our city was recently buried beneath more than 20 inches of snow in two days. It wreaked havoc and continues to interfere with commerce and transportation, weeks after the event. People comprehend this. It is not complex. How is it possible then for our nation and in particular, for Christians, to pretend they cannot comprehend how the effects of slavery, lynching, terrorism, segregation, Jim Crow, mass incarceration and untold suffering continue to destroy Black lives? Slavery and White Supremacy have been apocalyptic catastrophes. Hence, we need a Black History Month to plow through the blizzard of lies that not only sustained these systems but continue to this day to erase, injure, and destroy.
Join us in worship Sunday as we tell the truth boldly about who we are and as we embrace across the chasm of human alienation and despair and find one another, made in the Image of God; and as we dedicate ourselves to protecting one another, loving one another.
~See you Sunday