I’m horrified by the rising wave of antisemitic violence. In our own city, we’ve seen bricks thrown through the windows of Jewish businesses, vandalism at synagogues, and Jewish neighbors assaulted in the streets. This is horrific—a grotesque violation of our beloved siblings, perpetrated by folks drinking from a tragically all-too-American well of prejudice. Christians have not just failed to dismantle this hatred, we’ve been responsible for its construction. I’ve been clear about my solidarity with the Palestinian people, their right to live in freedom and dignity. And we need to be equally explicit in condemning these attacks. Any person who uses apartheid in Gaza to justify bigotry is perpetrating the same cycles of violence they claim to oppose. Our freedom is inextricably intertwined. God is love and yearns for movements that defy oppression without ever replicating it. We must stand on the side of Love.
Radical solidarity requires radical education, and prophetic joy to sustain our work. And that’s why I’m so excited to ask you to save the date for Juneteenth 2021: Get Us Free! This collaboration between Middle and the historic Riverside Church will embody the spirit of the holiday, and equip us all with better tools for liberation. And we’re especially excited to announce that our Saturday celebration will feature a rare live performance by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Stephanie Mills, who will also premiere her new music video, “Let’s Do the Right Thing.” Watch for more information and a link to register next week, but for now mark June 19 and 20 on your calendar!
In the midst of these painful days, we think it’s doubly important to create time to celebrate. And, in particular, we want to lift up everyone who graduated amid these overwhelming circumstances! So, whether you finished kindergarten or your doctoral program, please email Elise Tiralli
so we can highlight your achievement in worship!
I also want to lift up the beautiful work of our ¡Hablamos! group. They have another powerful immigration forum this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET, so click here to RSVP
to learn about how you can fight on behalf of God’s call for radical welcome.
Come Sunday, Isaac Bush, Antwayn Hopper, Elisabeth Rodgers and Matthew Johnson Harris are offering a joint sermon, and you know you don’t want to miss that. So join us at 11:45 a.m. ET at middlechurch.org or on Facebook and YouTube, and let’s worship the God whose love breaks every shackle—and leaves no one behind.
I love you so much,