Friday, November 11, 2016

Youth Workers may never see a more teachable moment than this weekend to talk about Christian behavior toward classmates, friends + neighbors

Youthworker friends - this weekend is your clearest shot at guiding your group to a fresh understanding that there is nothing Christian (nothing authentically American for that matter) about hate speech, intimidation, vandalism, or personal violence. Going a step farther, if the biblical text is to be believed, there's something profoundly Christian about defending the weak, the poor, the sick, the broken, the captive, foreigners, widows, orphans, strangers.... If you don't have a better idea, call it Safety Pin Sunday. Put a largish safety pin on your shirt, dress, or jacket, and offer one to anybody willing to identify himself or herself as a safe person at school and in the neighborhood for friends and neighbors who feel unsafe because of the present turmoil ... in particular: Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, immigrants, pretty much anyone with dark skin, women and girls, sexual minorities - whoever in your community feels at risk ... in some communities it may be Trump supporters who feel at greater risk this week than before the election.

Safety Pin people will protect anyone who needs protecting by 
  • standing with them
  • eating with them
  • walking with them
  • sharing a ride with them
  • dialing 911 for them
  • recording video of anyone who threatens them
  • taking screen shots of anything that expresses violent intentions towards them online
  • standing up to online bullies and trolls
  • not allowing them to be physically isolated or cornered by anyone who means to harm them
At the end of the day - whoever they are - if people who need help can't get it from folks who say they know a little something about God, then where exactly are they supposed to turn in your community? There may never be a more teachable moment than this weekend to help your group understand and embrace this sort of proactive peacemaking right where they live.

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