Easter is a day of freedom. As Jesus Christ was not bound by death after his crucifixion, he promises new life for us after our deaths. As Jesus Christ is resurrected from the grave, he promises new life after there has been sin, healing, brokenness of our bodies, spirits and relationships.
There is another day of freedom, celebrated mostly by African-Americans. It is June 19th, called Juneteenth, and it observes the day the news of emancipation reached Texas, the farthest part of the South. On June 19, 1865, the message reached Galveston, TX by Union soldiers, although the Emancipation Proclamation had been in effect since January 1, 1863. Slaves had to be freed, and be offered wages if they continued working.
Residents in Woodlawn and participants in our co-op have requested a local Juneteenth celebration, and we are working with a community planning group to make it happen, hosted at WUMC. This will be another way of ministering to our community, honoring the traditions and history of our many African-American neighbors, and bringing people together in positive unity. It will also be a time to educate ourselves on working for freedom and justice without prejudice. In Christ, we are all free. May we make that a reality in our communities where people are bound by racism and its effects. Mark your calendar now for Saturday , June 16th to be a part of this freedom celebration.