Love & Justice

Love isn’t a noun. It’s a verb. And we come to know God best when we risk loving fiercely enough to be transformed.

Inspired by the prophets and Jesus, who taught us to love God with everything we have, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, we live our faith out loud as we work for justice. At Black Lives Matter protests, LGBQTIA+ rallies, the Women’s March, Climate Change events, and activism around gun violence, prison reform, the rights of immigrants, and a living wage, we are there. We affirm the transformative power of moral imagination to create a more just society.

Racial Justice

Middle Church understands that the so-called American Dream has been a nightmare for racial-ethnic minorities. America was built on stolen land by people stolen from their land. From Jim Crow to Japanese Internment to the Trail of Tears, we know America has behaved poorly toward groups who are not White and Anglo-Saxon.

We think healing racism is an act of faith. Our racially diverse congregation wore hoodies to church after Trayvon Martin was murdered, and sent Skittles and iced tea to Sanford, Florida. We prayed with our hands up after Mike Brown was killed and kneeled in prayer in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick We participated in die-ins throughout New York City after Eric Garner was murdered. Our faith is political because Jesus was political. Just as people of faith stood at the center of the Civil Rights movement, we know it is our call to be on the front lines of racial/ethnic justice in America.

Racial Justice Resources

Ecological Justice

At Middle, we know that God created us to be in loving relationship with our human and non-human kin alike. We affirm the personhood of rivers, plants and animals, and seek to construct faith that honors our place among them. We reject the fundamental racism that has transformed communities of color into environmental sacrifice zones. And we know that true climate solutions will be found outside capitalism.

Middle Church has responded in real time on the ground through organizing, rebuilding, fundraising, and advocacy after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Hurricane Sandy in New York City and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We know that climate change disproportionately harms people of color and the poor, and center intersectional ecological efforts. We see how environmental degradation, racism, and poverty are interconnected. And we seek structural change. Our children and our senior minister have preached about climate change and creation care, confirming our long-term commitment. We can all do better to reduce our footprint, and Middle Church is committed to doing so.

Ecological Justice Resources

Voting Rights

Voting rights and faith are inextricably intertwined. At the heart of our democratic contract is a spiritual principle: Every person is made in the image of God, and should therefore have equal say in determining how they are governed. Obviously, our country has a poor track record of living up to this ideal—to put it mildly. From the legal disenfranchisement of enslaved people, women, indigenous people and other groups to voter suppression’s long and insidious reach, we have yet to witness the full expression of God’s democratic dream. But, we are in the throes of the most dangerous racist assault on voting rights since Jim Crow. Sadly, our nation offers fewer voting protections now than it did in 1965.

At Middle, we know that fighting against voter suppression—and helping ensure that everyone has voice and vote—is God’s work. We are appalled by the racist attempts to disenfranchise voters of color, and embrace fighting this scourge as part our congregation’s antiracism work. Particularly at this crucial juncture, this divine call could not be more pressing.

Want to help? Email votingproject@middlechurch.org and join us!

Voting Rights Resources

Economic Justice

At Middle Church we understand that economic justice, racial justice, and LGBTQIA+/gender justice are inextricably bound together. We are a proud partner in the Poor People’s Campaign. We’ve partnered with key organizations to work for a living wage and paid family leave. In partnership with Momentum, before COVID we offered two hot meals on Mondays and a food pantry. We prepare and deliver brown bag lunches to the hungry in local parks on Sundays. We also offered nutritious food alongside Sunday worship, understanding that we are feeding souls and bodies. Our annual Children’s Sabbath helps us to focus on issues affecting children, especially poverty. We supported the Occupy movement by feeding and housing protesters. We stand with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Fight for 15 in demanding fair wages. And we understand that poverty and homelessness are systemic issues, not something charity can solve.

In this COVID moment, our circumstances have changed but God’s call has not. Particularly right now, as government continues to abandon the most vulnerable in our midst, and nearly 40% of households are at risk of eviction, we know that God is calling us to do whatever we can to address financial need in our community. Because of this, we have created both a Deacon’s Fund for small grants, and a $100,000 Cancel Rent/Cancel Mortgage Program to help people stay in their homes. We also created a $100,000 Black Lives Matter fund to fuel crucial antiracist organizing and education.

We follow Jesus’ ministry, who both gave direct assistance to people who were suffering even as he took action to address that suffering at its source. His work was both individual and systemic, and ours must be too.

Learn About Our Grant Programs

LGBTQIA+ Justice

Each person is made in God’s image. Every one. Each straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, asexual, intersex person is divine. We’ve known love is love is love for as long as we’ve been doing ministry on 7th Street and Second Avenue. We celebrate Love.Period. all year. We opened our doors to the HIV/AIDS community in the late 1980s offering hot meals and funerals. We organized to change ordination laws in the Reformed Church of America. We took our faith to streets in support of marriage equality in New York State, and the first Sunday after marriage equality was legal in New York State, we held a triple gay wedding during worship. We worked for the federal marriage equality law and were at Stonewall, speaking, cheering, and singing when it was passed.

At Middle, we recognize that Pride is a year-round celebration. So while we have long featured a beautiful Pride float, we also offer a host of year-round opportunities to rejoice in queer community.

LGBTQIA+ Justice Resources

Immigration Justice

In her seminal work Borderlands Gloria Anzaldúa describes the border as una herida abierta—an open wound. And indeed, for decades our political leadership—of both parties—has let this wound fester. Our ministers have traveled to U.S. Mexico border, and have witnessed firsthand the trauma and suffering our policies create in Tijuana refugee camps. And we proclaim our faith in a brown, Palestinian refugee baby whose parents sought asylum in Egypt. We tell the story of Moses, who began life as an unaccompanied minor. And our faith convicts and compels us to act until every stranger is welcomed with love.

No human being is illegal. Period. Our borders and immigration laws are violence. Far from making our communities safer—they tear them apart. So we organize with groups like New Sanctuary NYC to abolish ICE, and free our neighbors from their terror. We hope you’ll join us. And our ¡Hablamos! group offers other great ways to get involved in immigration advocacy!

Immigration Justice Resources

Gender Justice

At Middle, we are fervently committed to pursuing universal liberation. Full stop. That means fighting for easy and free abortion access. It means standing with trans and gender expansive siblings against legislative assault on their humanity. It means promoting equal pay, ending workplace harassment, believing women always—not just when it’s convenient, and providing safe environments for kids to explore the genders God blessed them with. And it means doing *all of this* in the name of the one who created every person in Their image—whose voice rings with love as She pronounces them “good.”

We’re know we’re in this movement together, because we can’t reach the promised land alone. That’s why we joined the women’s march, and shouted “Me Too!” It’s why we’ve hosted Black Trans Liberation Theology classes and salons centering trans/nonbinary voices. Put simply: It’s what Love demands.

Gender Justice Resources

Join

Do you yearn to not just belong, but be celebrated for exactly who you are? Do you want a community of folks committed to radical love and justice? Wherever you live, you can call Middle Church home.

Give

This movement needs you! We need your time and talent, but we also need your resources. Make a contribution today and help us be midwives to love and justice.

December 5, 2020

A six-alarm fire spread from the building next door and destroyed our beautiful sanctuary. And yet, no fire can stop revolutionary love! Learn how we’re rising from the ashes and what you can do to help.

Find Your People!

Middle hosts small groups for everything from beginning ukulele lessons, Queer Black Men in the Middle or our Voting Reform team. And all of them have options to gather virtually! Join the groups that best fit your passion and the love you want to offer the world.

Liberative Learning

How do you change the world? First, you change yourself. Part of how we fulfill our commitment to God’s gospel of liberation is by training leaders with the skills you’ll need to bring freedom wherever you go. Thousands have participated in our digital courses. Will join them?

What We Believe

Middle is on a mission to reclaim and reframe Christianity—to realign our faith with Jesus’ teaching and take it back from the folks who have stolen it. We do this work joyfully, fueled by the Spirit, and strengthened by the community we create with one another.

Celebrate LOVE with Us!

Middle’s worship is a joyful, diverse celebration that gives a taste of what heaven feels like—an experience to soothe your soul and fill you with God’s liberatory fire! Every week is different, but what remains constant is how we tell the story of love through transformative art.

Do Justice

Faith comes alive when our love radiates outwards. At Middle, we’re committed to building an intersectional movement that both addresses the particular needs of different communities and unites us in common solidarity. This is God’s work, and we hope you’ll join us in it.