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The Day we Marched

‘“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security”

- Pope Francis

Last Sunday Harmony Springs embarked on something brave, different, and historic. Instead of worshipping together at AGMC in Green like we typically do you answered my pastoral call to worship together and march with our fellow Disciples in Kent to Spelman Chapel A.M.E. church. We marched in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters who have recently been bombarded with acts of racism in Charleston and throughout the South.

The decision to do so was not arrived at easily. The Elders and I knew it would be a challenge to get the word out and probably a stretch for many of us. We emailed, called, texted and discussed at length the decision. In the end we could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of something greater than ourselves, something moving, something big.

One of our black congregants responded to my church-wide email with, ‘The one Sunday I won't be in church we are doing something exciting!’ Her words ring true. I realize that we can’t march every Sunday but I wonder if too often we ‘cling to our own security’ (in the words of Pope Francis)? We convince ourselves we are making the wise, prudent decision to not upset people’s routine and make sure we collect the offering (these we all things we wrestled with). But then a lingering question remains, ‘What about them?’

It just didn’t seem right to follow our regular routine and collect our weekly offering when our brothers and sisters need our presence and support.

And so we marched.

May Harmony Springs continue walking the streets in solidarity, mending the spiritually bruised, and comforting the hurting.

That, my friends, is church.

Honored to be your Pastor as we march together,

Pastor JOEL

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