The church is a family and sometimes we have to have hard conversations
As I was researching for this week's sermon I ran into an incredible map. It uses 2010 census information to place a dot for every person. The map covers the whole US and you can explore it here, but I want to zoom in on our city. (Key- Blue: White, Green: Black, Orange: Hispanic, Red: Asian)
Boston considers itself a very progressive city, and in many ways it is. Yet, the issue of race has always been a major blight on our badge of progressivism. If you Google "Racist City," you might expect to find a deep south confederate flag flying city. Nope. Boston will pop up more than any other place. A survey by the Boston Globe on racism found that African Americans ranked Boston as the least welcoming city in the U.S. to people of color. Atlanta was considered the most welcoming.
And then there is Jamaica Plain. If Boston is considered a progressive city, Jamaica Plain is the epicenter of that progressivism. JP marches against racism. You can't walk a street without finding a "Black Lives Matter" poster. We welcome refugees. And yet, the map above shows that what we say and what we do don't match. We, like most of Boston, are very racially segregated. Sure, in our borders we have a decent African American and Latino population, but they are literally pushed to the fringes of majority white society.
Now, my prayer is that since 2010 some of these realities have changed for the better, but my guess is, they've only become worse. This is a complex issue and you nor I can fix it, but we can all be a part of the solution. Tomorrow we're going to take time to look into the issue of race through the Scriptures, how to face it in our own hearts, and what we should do about it. In all that, we are going to pray. If we don't pray our efforts are all for naught. God is truly going to be the one that changes the hearts of people.
I pray you'll join us tomorrow as we worship at Curley K-8.
With much love,
493 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130