On September 12, the brand new $800 million+ Little Caesar’s Arena kicked off with a Kid Rock concert on the southern edge of the Cass Corridor in Detroit. It was the culmination of white billionaire Mike Ilitch’s* fifteen-year “dereliction by design,” scores of properties purchased and left to rot. Land values were intentionally driven lower so Ilitch could buy even more. One week after the grand opening, prompted by this journalistic prose, Lindsay Airey was visited by a nightmare. Her attempt to relay it in poetry:
A sea of black faces.
by violent displacement,
Greed turned sick
of these precious ones’
seeping like poison,
out their murdering pores. Continue reading
By Naim Edwards
(This post is a Bonus Wild Lectionary Reflection from the readings a month ago)
The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. Acts 17:24-25
Clifton and Vanessa named me Naim Kenyatta. We are the descendants of Black West Africans (and an Irishmen or two) taken from their homelands and transplanted to these so-called United States of America. Our lineage has been traced back twelve generations geographically all the way to Maryland and Virginia. Besides that, we understand that forced separation from our indigenous language and region has essentially vanquished all direct ties to Africa. My family has been here since before the U.S. was even the U.S. We are more American than America, yet most Black people continue to be treated like second class citizens. Continue reading
A Sermon by Joyce Hollyday. Given at Circle of Mercy: February 28, 2016
My friend Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann died on New Year’s Eve of 2005 of brain cancer. In the aftermath, her daughter Lydia claimed me as one of her two honorary mothers. One of the ways I’ve taken that beautiful tribute seriously was to be present to help catch her son Isaac when he was born three years ago.
Last month Isaac’s brother, Cedar, came into the world. I wasn’t present for his birth, but I had the delight of meeting him when he was ten days old and staying with him, Isaac, and their mothers for a few days. My main task was entertaining Isaac. I read a lot of books, put together countless puzzles, and played endless rounds of the game “Goodnight Moon.” Continue reading
Readers may not know, but Tommy and Lindsay Airey are ending their time in Detroit this month. It is a serious loss for those of us in Detroit, but we trust it will mean wonderful things for http://www.radicaldiscipleship.net as Tommy and Lindsay continue to write, reflect, and place their feet in new places. This is a goodbye poem for them written by Bill Wylie-Kellermann.
This old world to that beloved Word
this watershed to discipleship
roots, sweet and thirsty, to the road;
in radical vocation, wed disciple to disciple
as time to time
(What kairos is it on the chronos of Detroit?
the nation, the planet, our hearts?) Continue reading
By Joyce Hollyday
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you that have no money,
Come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
And your labor for that which does not satisfy?
I was in Detroit welcoming my new honorary grandson, Cedar, when a coalition of justice organizations convened a Water Crimes Tribunal. The tribunal brought charges against Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and their accomplices. Their crimes include the infamous switch of the Flint water system to a river that poisoned city residents with bacteria and lead. Continue reading
Written by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann for the Detroit Peace Community’s Stations of the Cross. This week the City of Detroit has resumed shut offs to 30,000 homes.
When they turn off our water, prohibiting us from cleaning our clothes or our bodies, they strip us of our dignity.
When they turn off our water, leaving us unable to care for medical needs and sewage backs up, they strip us of our health.
I learned the liturgical year as a child by where we put our bodies. Mondays in Advent were spent at Williams International where they were making cruise missiles and Good Friday was spent walking the streets of Detroit. This walk has been happening since before I was born and I’ve walked it every year of my life. As a community, we spend Lent thinking about where we see the Cross today. Where is crucifixion happening today. Then together on Good Friday, we name it out loud by taking our bodies and a wooden cross to those places.
This year when we think about the Crucifixion we are thinking about the poor being pushed out to make way for gentrification. We are thinking about water shut offs and privitized education system. We are thinking about drones and black lives matter. Today, hundreds of us join together reading these words together. We invite you to join us in reading a couple of them here.
– Lydia Wylie-Kellermann Continue reading