Thanks to all of you for the level of interest, encouragement, and affirmation that you have shared towards the young woman’s case overviewed in “Injustice in the Courtroom.” As you would imagine, there have been some really hard parts for her throughout this process. But the love and grace shown by such a wide range of people has been a really meaningful counterpoint. As a church we’ve been praying that despite the injustice that she experienced that she would also experience the love of God in tangible and demonstrative ways. You have helped make that prayer come true!
A lot of you have asked if you could make a donation to help offset the court costs, which is very gracious. We have decided that the most transparent and effective way for us to do that is to take in donations through the church. That way there can be a group of people that monitor the giving and ensure that it all goes 100% to her and that there is plenty of accountability around it. This also allows us to give any donors a year end giving statement for their tax records.
If you would like to make a donation to her court fees, here are two options:
- Paypal – to do this, go to our site at http://www.rivercitychicago.com and click on the button on the left that says “offering and tithes.” You can enter your credit card info, and there is a field that asks for you to add a message. Please notate that it is a donation towards the court case fees.
- Mail – if you prefer to do it via check, please mail it to River City Community Church / 2124 N Milwaukee / Chicago, IL / 60647
Thank you again for the gracious and generous response. There is still a lot of traction with her story – just this week it reprinted on two national websites: Empowermagazine.com and Socialistworker.org. She also has been approached by a news station down South seeing if they can run a story on it. So we are prayerfully discerning next steps, and we will continue to keep you updated.
I am a lifelong Chicagoan, a pastor at River City Community Church, and an author who writes a lot about resisting and confronting white supremacy from a faith lens.
Our church was founded in January of 2003 in the west Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, and is centered on the core values of worship, reconciliation, and neighborhood development. We long to see increased spiritual renewal as well as social and economic justice in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and entire city, demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God. It is also through the gift of this faith community that I have learned to see the profound historical and spiritual impact of the stronghold of white supremacy, and where I have been challenged to broaden and deepen my understanding of discipleship in the hopes of becoming a serious enough Christ follower who is able to meaningfully participate with those who have risen up in defiance of this evil principality.
The lessons learned in this journey have been captured in a pair of books on race. The first, White Awake, explores the barriers that white people tend to face – white Christians specifically – when we attempt to awaken to and understand white supremacy through a faith lens. I spend a lot of time here addressing the internal defenses that are bound to go off when this journey is taken seriously, and I chart out a path for developing a resilient spirit that steadfastly moves towards truth, justice, and equity. The second, White Lies, further builds out the path for the white Christian who longs to actively participate in the resistance and confrontation of white supremacy. I spend a lot of time here exploring why it is so hard to tell the truth about race, as well as expose the lies that sustain it, within white, Christian, Bible-believing environments. I then propose nine practices that position us for engaging in this task.
On the personal front, my career started in the marketplace, as I was part of three dot.com startups in the 90’s. My vocational path shifted when I joined the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in 1998, and I spent five years working there. I started River City Community Church in January 2003 and have been happily serving here ever since. On the education front, my undergrad was in Business (Purdue University), my graduate degree in theology (Moody Bible Institute), and my doctoral degree in community development (Northern Seminary). On the family front, my wife is a Professor of Psychology, and we have two amazing children (Xander and Gabriella).
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