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The Real Church is in The Streets: A Speech Delivered to the Dallas Rally Against Police Brutality on December 5, 2014

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Whose streets???

 

Our streets!!!

 

Whose streets???

 

Our streets!!!

 

Good evening, my name is Rev. Jeff Hood. I work out of the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ…the largest LGBT church in the entire world. I serve as the Minister of Social Justice of their social justice ministry Hope for Peace and Justice. Ours is a church that knows a thing or two about police brutality. Our community knows a thing or two about police brutality. Unfortunately, our church is not all that different from many churches…in that it still has much to learn about race in America. Over the last few weeks, I have looked at churches and places of faith and been so disappointed. Because I know…that churches can make a difference. I believe that churches can make a difference. So often when I have thought about the crucifixion of Jesus in the last few weeks, I feel like churches are the ones on the sidelines screaming, “Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!” There is an indictment against our churches.

 

There is an indictment against our religious communities. That indictment is here tonight. Asking the question… How long? How long must we work? How long must we wait for justice? How long will you sit in your religious buildings and castles and do nothing? I have thought about what the church is over the past few weeks. I have decided that the buildings and the spaces don’t matter. I have decided that the crosses and other religious paraphernalia are but mirages. I believe that the Spirit of God is not contained in such things. I believe that the spirit of God is right here tonight. I believe that the true church will be in the streets tonight.

 

I believe that what we are doing here tonight is an incredibly spiritual thing. We have a community that is broken and hurt by police brutality. You are the vessels of our redemption, sanctification and cleansing. As you walk these streets tonight, know that you are making our city a place that we will all want to live in…a place where we all matter…

 

I want to know one final thing from you…

 

Whose streets???

 

Our streets!!!

 

Whose streets???

 

Our streets!!!

 

Whose streets???

 

Our streets!!!

 

As you go out there…know that you are the future…because injustice can only last a little while… I don’t believe in death without resurrection. I don’t believe that the death of Eric Garner will be in vein. I don’t believe the death of Mike Brown will be in vein. I believe that you are the vessels of life. Please…don’t stop. Don’t stop. Keep going! Awaken the conscious of this city. Awaken our souls.

 

Amen.

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