As we walk with the Spirit, He grows new life in us.
Let justice roll down like waters (Amos 5:24).
It was the spring of 1963. The place was Birmingham, Alabama, where both law and culture had created the most segregated city in the country. The battle was between racism and righteousness. And the key player was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King courageously led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in non-violent protest against segregation in Birmingham. At one of these demonstrations, he was arrested and imprisoned. During his incarceration, using random bits of paper and eventually a legal pad, King wrote what has become one of the most important essays of American history, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Arguing as a Christian against both racism and indifference to it, King exposed the threat of “passive racism”: that is, “wait, let time work, don’t overreact.”
It has been 54 years since King wrote his “Letter.” Many things have changed; many things have not. To recognize the changes and foster faith-filled awareness and action against what has not changed, Pastor Bryan Loritts has gathered together 10 letters from contemporary Christian statesmen. Each writes a letter to Dr. King in prison, reflecting on King’s original “Letter” in light of where issues of racism are today, especially within the church.
I know of no better single volume introduction to contemporary racial injustice, gospel longing, and Christian action than the resulting book, Letters to a Birmingham Jail. In the course of ~225 fast pages, you’ll read King’s “Letter” and have your heart tuned to the cry for justice: “For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.’”
You’ll read the magisterial John Perkins, explaining “Why We Can’t Wait for Economic Justice.” You’ll learn about John Piper’s racist childhood in “Waiting for and Hastening the Day of Multiethnic Beauty.” Sandy Willson’s “Why Traditional Suburban Churches Can’t Wait” will give perspective on Stone Hill’s “koinonia” initiatives. And things will take a salutary personal turn with Albert Tate’s “The Multicultural Church Begins in Your Living Room.”
As members of my beloved congregation, please hear me when I say, get this book and read it. It’s gospel, it’s challenge, it’s repentance, it’s change—for the glory of God.
Stone Hill Annual Meeting: All are welcome to attend the annual meeting held on January 27 at 7 p.m. in Harris Hall. We will hear financial reports for 2018 and vote on the budget for 2019. There will be an opportunity for Q & A. Members will vote on officers and the budget at that time. Childcare provided.
Men’s Choir: There will be a men's chorus singing at the offertory on Sunday, Feb 10. If you read music and are interested in participating, see Bob Doll or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DivorceCare: The breakup of a marriage is devastating. If you’re experiencing separation/divorce or know someone traveling this difficult road, please consider attending or recommending DivorceCare. This 13-session, Christ-centered, recovery and support group is being offered at Stone Hill Church Saturday mornings February 2 – May 11. For details, contact Amy Hellesen Tumminelli at 201-317-5629 or email@example.com. To register online, visit www.stonehillprinceton.org/outreach/divorcecare.
Habitat for Humanity: Prayers, Pancakes, and Partnerships – We are excited to share that Habitat for Humanity, Thrivent, and our local Faith community will be partnering together to build a home for a well deserving family this Winter and Spring in Ewing, New Jersey! Come join this kick-off breakfast (pancakes included) to learn how our congregation can put faith into action by partnering with Habitat for Humanity and other local churches in this effort.
When: Thursday, January 31 at 8:30 a.m.
Where: The Nassau Inn, Princeton, New Jersey
This breakfast is open to all! Please let us know if you’ll be able to join by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult Ed Class: Theological Thought in the Life of the Church has begun and is led by Jacob Zeller in the Library at 9:30 a.m. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to systematic theology, discussing core doctrines of the Christian faith and what they mean for our spiritual lives.
Adult Ed Class: Mark Catlin is teaching on The Book of Malachi in Harris Hall at 9:30 a.m. Join us to discover how you fit into God's story through the words of Malachi.