what do we have to offer?

But I’m not an event planner!”

My grace is sufficient for you.

Each objection met the same answer.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 
2 Corinthians 12:9

Despite the wild success of last year’s Good Friday Streetfest, I wasn’t convinced it should be an annual event. I would have been relieved to hear God say it was one and done. 

But African-American pastors in town said something different, and I needed to listen. The Ministerial Alliance called faith leaders across the community to a Gun Violence Summit; we met with law enforcement, city and school representatives, and both mayors to respond to an increase in shooting incidents. The message was unity, education, prayer.

I knew we had to offer to host. The Streetfest Against Violence brings our community together through music. High school a cappella groups, death metal fans, rap, soul, and Congolese gospel. An opportunity for the Ministerial Alliance to reach us all. Building a community of peace. The theory is easier than puzzling together the musical lineup.

I have no answers. Except Jesus. Like other Jewish lives, his did not matter to the Roman government. He was a trouble-maker, a problem to be solved with the commonplace violence of public execution.

Jesus identified with the victim. (For more on this, I highly recommend the article The Cry of Abel’s Blood: Christ’s Wounds & Ours by Jerome A. Miller.) His murder exposes our violence as incapable of producing justice. In Richard Rohr’s words, “The cross dramatically reveals the problem of ignorant killing to inoculate us against doing the same thing.”

The Streetfest doesn’t feel super-theological. Or traditionally holy. But there we stand with our community, in solidarity with victims of violence. To give our blood for the healing of others. To listen, to host, to welcome, to love our neighbors on our streets. 

Streetfest Facebook Event
Bulletin: 4/14
Order of Service: 4/14
Sermon: Triumphal Entry -Mark 11:1-18 (Palm Sunday)

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