“A reflection given in SOLIDARITY FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE prayer service…” (c) John Winston Powell, November 10, 2014

IMGP0717I’m John Powell, I teach theology here at Villa, and I’m a proud Ferguson resident.

The last three months have been gut wrenching for all people who care about justice in North County and all of St. Louis.  Blessed Pope Paul VI has told us that “if we want peace, work for justice.”  I have protested with the protesters and I have talked to friends and neighbors who believe that the police force was warranted in the Michael Brown case.  Regardless of the decision of the grand jury, we know that a myriad of social injustices have come to the forefront of our consciousness.  Issues of police abuse of power, racism, both institutional and personal, as well as poverty and economic development are involved. 

I have been part of the beginning of a resident, grass roots movement called One Ferguson.  I would like to ask you for prayers as we try to address three areas of concern:  our children, our economics, and our community relationships.   Our residents will be working for structural reform in terms of

Police and Court Reform – Providing reform to the justice system through refinement of local ordinances and coordinated efforts to restructure the process in which police and courts are presently operating in the region.

 Community Relations & Development – Providing opportunities and formulating structured dialogues to encourage residents to openly discuss issues that divide us across racial, socio-economic, and political boundaries.

 Economic Development – Formation of innovative ways to bring development to our community and region.

Citizenship Support & Progress – Improving opportunities for residents to be engaged in Ferguson and coordination of resources/grass roots efforts that improve the living conditions of all residents of our community.

 Resident Education Advocacy – Expansion and promotion of youth programs, civic agencies, and educational programs that provide community education and training.

 Ultimately, it takes all of us to work together for justice.  With your prayers and solidarity, One Ferguson and other groups in St. Louis can be inspired to transform death into new life for our communities.

May Philippine, Madeleine Sophie, and Janet Erskine Stuart be with all of us in our work for justice.  May Jesus help us.

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About johnpowell1020

Middle-aged theologian who believes in the best of life's paradoxes. Loves God, Lisa, his family, The Beatles, Wilco, great music, The Chicago Cubs, The University of Florida , Barry University, teaching, photography, the piano, documentaries, Autumn, Clover & India, peacocks, and so much more....
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