Since moving into central Detroit in the fall of 2010 I have learned from my neighbors a great deal more about this city I deeply love. On a jog just a few days ago I spoke to a gentleman (I needed a break!) who pulled out a collection of pictures of what 12th Street (now also called Rosa Parks Blvd) looked like before the 1967 riots. (Btw, while some do not like the label “riots” most long term residents I know use that term. I should also add that institutional racism played a massive role in these destructive events.) Man, I was absolutely floored by the number of commercial buildings that once lined this historic street. I also learned that a local park (just a few blocks from my house) is the location of the blind pig that was was raided in 1967, igniting the 5 day civil disturbance. What’s interesting is that we had already planned a clean-up & praise service for this park the following weekend! And as we passed out flyers for these 2 events people began to share story after story after story about their memories of this location, both pre & post 1967 (some of which I will share in the worship service).
Here are the details. The park is located at the NW corner of Clairmount St & 12th St (Rosa Parks Blvd).
Saturday June 16 we’ll clean-up the park from 10 AM-12 PM. Several neighbors have said they will help out, including one family who attended yesterday’s worship service and another gentleman who said he would bring a large deck lawnmower. We’d love to have you join us – bring your strong back & any lawn tools you have.
Sunday June 17 we will gather for worship at 11AM (our first morning service!). We’ll do what we normally do – sing, pray, fellowship, and open up the word. Specifically, we’ll look at a man who was called to move to a foreign city, and in partnership with longterm residents, work to rebuild the city’s walls. I’m talking about Nehemiah. Even more specifically, we’ll examine in this message on Father’s Day, the role men have in rebuilding communities, and how Jesus restores in men the right fight.
Do not be afraid of your enemies. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes! (Nehemiah 4:14)
Please pray for strong participation in these 2 events by long-term residents. We are also planning another praise in the park service later in the summer as well as a larger cookout & concert on Friday August 17.