Hello Church! The Ministry of Social Justice and Compassion is excited to have this blog as a place to share the work we are doing, as well as ideas and possibilities around the transformation of violence in our community.
Did you know: In the spring of 2013, we began building two sustainable partnerships in our community, in order to learn how we can positively engage the realities of violence in Boston and work to cultivate peace. These two partnerships are with an underserved public school in out neighborhood, where we can help prevent the violence effecting Boston youth (our first event upcoming in June 2014, date and time TBA), and with Pine Street Inn where we can help prevent the violence of neglect to those homeless on your streets (our next event is June 10, serving dinner at Pine Street Inn). We also support and sponsor other relevant events that we hope will offer doorways into service and social justice work for us church, around the cultivation of peace in our community, like for example the events Barbara talks about here.
Why do we do this work? Because we believe that to participate in the work that transforms the world into a more just, equitable, and loving place, is at one-and the-same time, to powerfully transform and heal our own selves into a more peaceful, health-filled and abundant person, allowing us to reach more generously and joyfully beyond the parameters and needs of our own individual lives. SJC’s mission includes helping and leading people at Hope Central to find ways, in the midst of busy lives, to be engaged in the powerful work of justice and peace in our community and in our world.
Our very first blog entry comes to you from Barbara McQueen, one of our members, who volunteers at the Louis B. Brown Peace Institute in Boston, and is deeply engaged in the work of violence prevention. I hope you will periodically check in on our blog and learn about MJC sponsored actions and events, that you too can participate in as church. — Lillian Fuchs, MJC facilitator
Barbara writes: We are less than three months into 2014 and the year has already seen 14 homicides here in Boston. In the United States, homicide is the leading cause of death for young men of color. Here at Hope Central Church, our commitment to the repair of the world has brought us to consider how we can build peace in our communities. Inspired by the work of our covenant partner Reverand Liz Steinhauser at her job working with youth at St. Stephen’s Church, the Ministry of Justice and Compassion team is moving to create a partnership with a local public school. The hope is that we can help support young people who are facing multiple challenges, including racism, poverty and the trauma of street violence.
We hope that anyone who feels called to support this iniative will be in touch with Lillian Fuchs to express your interest.
Further, as part of our efforts, we would also like to build a Hope Central Church presence at two upcoming events. The first is the Jobs Not Jails rally on Saturday 26 April on the Boston Common. In the United States, we incarcerate a higher percentage of our population than any other nation in the world. In Massachusetts, our prison population has tripled in the last 30 years. This has had a devastating effect on many families, and particularly in communities of color. On Thursday,
3 April from 7 to 8:30 there will be a forum on Mass Incarceration here in JP that we encourage folks to attend in order to learn more about the Jobs Not Jails campaign. http://jamaicaplainforum.org/2014/02/01/jobs-not-jails/
The second event is the Mothers Day Walk for Peace sponsored by the Louis D. Brown Peace Insitute on Sunday, 11 May at 8am. http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/event-info.html The walk began as a way to support mothers who had lost children to violence, and also serves to express our commitment to peace. Barbara McQueen and her family will be walking, as they have for the last ten years, and would love to welcome you to be part of a Hope Central Church group of walkers.