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Truth Forever on the Scaffold

Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. So penned James Russell Lowell, Cantabrigian, abolitionist, and poet in his poem The Present Crisis (1845), a reminder that our present crisis is not sui generis, but rather an expression and exposure of what remains deeply, darkly true of the United States of America: our original sin of racism persists. Its cruel existence causes untold harm to Black bodies, Black lives, Black families.

Updates from the OSC Anti-Racism Small Group

As Rev. Otis Moss III noted in his prophetic sermon “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” from May 17, 2020, “Racism is a virus. It infects the spirit.” As our church – and our nation – has grappled with the pandemic of Covid-19, we are also actively addressing the pandemic of racism. For some, this has meant participating in the All-Church Read of Ibram X. Kendi’s book, “How to Be an Antiracist” or exploring how their committee work can be intentionally antiracist. Others put their efforts into Get Out the Vote Campaigns or Eco-Justice advocacy.

Field Placement from Home

Okay—so you’ve probably gotten used to seeing that brick wall behind me throughout worship. If not the wall, then, perhaps a garden. Neither of those backgrounds are what I imagined, when I first reached out to Nancy last spring about working at Old South Church as my field placement site. I’d imagined walking as part of the procession of clergy and choir, standing at the pulpit with the organ behind me, and gathering with many of you after each service. Obviously, that was not to be.

Good Trouble

I’d like to first introduce you to Charles Turner Torrey.  You probably won’t know him. But you should.  Born on November 21, 1813 in Scituate, he had a hard life.  He lost both parents and a sibling to tuberculosis by his 4th birthday. But he persisted. He attended Exeter Academy in NH and then Yale College. While at Yale, he had a conversion experience that he took very seriously.  His new relationship with Jesus was transformational.

A Little Free Library with a Mission

This summer, as many Old Southers took to the streets in protest and solidarity, one of our Old South families teamed up with neighbors to create a Little Free Library (LFL) in their West Roxbury neighborhood! Kristen Lee-Armandt was inspired in particular by an Anti-Racist LFL that she saw being started in Arlington. She points out that West Roxbury is 77% white, and so will continually need access to anti-racist resources if the hope of an anti-racist reality is to come about.

I Won’t Bow Down

Have you ever heard the biblical story of the Fiery Furnace? It’s...a lot.

If you didn’t read it (because again, it’s...a lot), here’s a recap: The king built a statue and commanded his people to bow down and worship it. Three of God’s people (with the best names: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) refused. The king tossed the three men into a fiery furnace, but God saved them and did not allow flames to consume them. Then the king changed his ways.