Sadly, West Freeway Church of Christ will not be the last American faith community to endure violent trauma. Yes, religious communities must develop security strategies for protecting vulnerable worshippers, but people of faith must reject any idea that such horror is normative.
The nature of lament is profoundly spiritual and political. Lament ensures that questions of justice are asked and makes clear that things are not OK. But it doesn’t stop there. Lament suggests that what is wrong can be changed.
If words really do “mean something,” as Robert Jeffress asserted, correctly, then the rhetoric of “civil war,” “treason” or “coup” used by president, pastor or any of us is not only divisive but dangerous.
Today, Christians in America tend to find ourselves in two reactionary camps: those into apologetics and those into apologies. Both sides come from a stance of fear. If we continue reacting from our defensive postures, then we have learned nothing from scripture, tradition, human experience or, God forbid, the Holy Spirit.
Every June, that work culminates in the wildly-popular Swim Camp, where children and teenagers not only learn to swim but learn to pursue leadership through lifeguarding, volunteering and interning with Together For Hope.
With a precise focus on literacy and leadership development, Together For Hope continues to build children’s imaginations for what is possible beyond the limited view of poverty.
Like the muddy shores of the Mississippi, the Delta’s storied African American communities have always confronted both the abundance and the peril of life in the Delta, hoping to God that the levee holds.
View the photo gallery of Arkansas Delta.
Watch a video with Janee’ Tisby talking about poverty.