Sunday, September 7, 2014
Sermon by Katie Mulligan
Preached at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church
The audio for those of you who prefer it. I confess that I still talk too fast, and it exhausted me to listen to it.
I have been struggling in these weeks since Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO to find something coherent to say about racism, violence, divided communities, and the gospel. Those of you who follow my social media will laugh at the idea that I struggle with words—after all my facebook and twitter have been awash with articles, blogs, opinions, rants, news stories, etc. I have not been silent—I have lifted up the voices of many, many individuals, amplifying the anger and despair and frustration that has tumbled through my social media connections. I have added my own thoughts to the chorus, and over the last month several people have messaged me, asking if I am ok. The conversation goes something like this: “All you have posted for the last few weeks is about Mike Brown and Ferguson. You haven’t posted a cat picture in weeks. Are you ok?”
I don’t know how to answer that except to say that in these last few weeks it has seemed unthinkable to post cat pictures in the midst of the real grief and anger expressed by people I care deeply for. And since I have been working with black and brown youth in Trenton and Ewing and Lawrenceville these last few years, I have grown fiercely protective of these students, whose lives are more prone to violence from all sources. When I saw the initial reports of Mike Brown’s death on twitter, I knew immediately that this could have been one of our children, one of our students, here in our church. So no, I’m not ok.