I received the following from a young man (young to my sixty years) who I met recently, He
is leading his Baptist community in the Chicago area to overcome barriers of
all sorts for the sake of the children. His story heartens me and requires of me that I
ask the question, "Where are our children running risks and how can we walk with
them before it is too late?"Thank you, Thomas
"While walking home from school in late September, Fenger High School
student, Derrion Albert, Chicago was beaten to death.News and videos of the attack, which showed
dozens of students participating in a violent brawl, ripped through national
headlines, turning the nation's eyes towards the violence that students found
themselves in simply walking home from school in the Roseland community,
located on the far south side of Chicago.
"In an organized response to the events surrounding the death, churches
within the Roseland community vowed that they could no longer stand idly as
their community was being destroyed from within.If we
are to truly have a brighter future, we must recognize that the education of
our young people is of the upmost importance.Our children must be able to travel to and from school in total
safety.Spearheaded by the
leadership of LilydaleFirstBaptistChurch (Rev. Dr.
Alvin Love, Pastor) and Sheldon Heights Church of Christ (Leonardo D. Gilbert,
Pastor) a plan to ensure the safety of the students was put in place.The churches within the community decided
that they would each adopt several corners.Men and women from over 30
churches agreed to stand on corners from 3pm until 3:45pm greeting, engaging
with, and showing love towards the students from the high school.This adopt-a-corner method was utilized
throughout the community as churches surrounding other at-risk high schools
jumped on-board.As one church, we have
a responsibility of showing the love of God to everyone, especially in the
times in which that love is so hard to see.The actions of these few churches have shown that there is someone who
cares about what is going on in the lives of these students, and that similar
incidents will not be tolerated."
Where are our children running risks and how can we walk with them
before it is too late?
The Rev. Peg Chemberlin is the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches. She is the immediate past president of the National Council of Churches, an organization of 36 communions with 45 million constituents across the nation. Read more about Rev. Peg Chemberlin.
Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin was asked to provide a Christian perspective on religious violence at a bipartisan press conference this Monday at the State Capitol. "We affirm the best of our faiths' traditions which call for respectful engagement with each other."