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(901) 726-4104
1207 Peabody Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
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Sunday School -9:30 AM

Sunday Worship–10:50 AM

The Way

Friday evening service begins at 6:00 PM.

Blog

Say Their Names

Posted on June 2nd, 2020

By:  Rev'd Dr. Johnny Jeffords

Say Their Names

It’s one of the signs carried in protest.
It’s one of the chants rising from the righteously indignant voices screaming to be heard.

“Say His Name.”

George.

The exposure of power imbalances right there in our faces is jarring. Systemic racism, pernicious and insidious, is a daily reality. It’s only when something is recorded that we can’t not see it. For every discomforting video of an unarmed person of color being killed, can you imagine the number of lives whose last moments are memorialized only in the fleeting breath of the dying?

“Say Their Names.”

Breonna. Eric. Michael. Alteria. Antwon.

What do we do with this? What is the Church’s response? That question is one we always seem to raise in the face of what’s happening in the world. But I’m beginning to wonder if the more pressing question is this – What do you want to do?

“Say Their Names.”

Walter. Alonzo. Keith. Philando.

What do you want to do? Do you want to ignore it? Act like it’s no big deal? Does what you know of the Kingdom of Heaven as described by Jesus align with what we’re seeing happen now? Do Black Lives Matter?

“Say Their Names.”

Tyree. Miguel. Willie.

St. John’s has talked about all this before. We’ve had guest speakers and powerful sessions. We’ve talked about how badly we want things to change. And here we are again watching the world burn and wondering what does the Church do? What does my church do? What do I do?

Let me suggest the first, most pressing opportunity is to be clear about being an ally for those crying in the streets. Stand with. March alongside. But mostly, listen. And learn. Here are resources just for folks, and mostly white folks, who want to learn what it is to be an ally. To learn why the injustice is real as is white privilege. Go there. Read. Be willing to be led by those seeking change so that we no longer need to be reminded to say their names.

La’Vantee. Keith. Janet. Ahmaud.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Small Heart

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