The Longest Four Minutes of My Life

November 20, 2015 @ 01:53 pm by Jacqui Lewis

“I started to panic as I became aware of my breathing. The presence of God filled my heart telling me to do the thing that I feared the most. The voice was telling me to let go of my fear.

“Fear, for a variety of reasons, has been ever-present through most of my life. Flashbacks to several personal encounters with the police flooded my mind. I had forgotten how fear and anger had sustained me in complacency, protected me with invisibility and made content with passivity.

“The more I resisted God’s unrelenting encouragement, the louder the message became. If you don’t do it now, you never will. And then I did it. I surrendered, and exhaled.

“Something special had happened. I realized that my life was changed, and as we sang I had to hold back the tears. Yes, as a Black man, my life does matter.”

– Jonathan Lucas, Middle member

In response to the killing of Eric Garner and the black lives taken in the hands of police, Middle members, staff, and interfaith allies at Bend the Arc and Auburn Seminary staged a die-in on the floor of a packed Capitol Hill cafeteria during the lunch hour on January 21, 2015.

These excerpts are from an essay consistory member Jonathan Lucas wrote about his experience of the die-in. To read his full essay go here.

Through your activism and your financial gifts, Middle Church stands for racial justice.

Your gifts power our multiracial congregation and stand for #BlackLivesMatter. Help change the conversation around race—donate now.

Policy Changed at the Pentagon

November 12, 2015 @ 05:45 pm by Christina Fleming

Photos by Damon Winter for The New York Times

Photos by Damon Winters for The New York Times

Graham Bridgeman, one of our board members, and J Mase III, an activist and slam poet, preached and led worship at the 2014 Transgender Awareness Sunday celebration. The New York Times contacted Middle Church and asked both Bridgeman and J Mase to submit video essays to complement a week-long series on Transgender rights earlier this year. Watch J Mase's video here and Graham's video here.

Andrew Rosenthal, who oversees the opinion pages at The New York Times, credited the series as having the greatest editorial impact:

“Our series on transgender rights was instrumental in persuading the Pentagon to lift the ban on transgender men and women serving openly in uniform."

Graham, J Mase, and Middle Church were a part of this historic series.

Support our LGBT ministries and our voice for LGBT equality–donate now.

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You make such a difference in so many lives! Here are their stories.

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