Good people of West Parish,
June 19, was Juneteenth!
In the words of author Isabel Wilkerson, “On this day, June 19, 1865 — two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and months after the end of the Civil War — the last enslaved Americans were finally set free. Union General Gordon Granger made the anouncement, from the balcony of the former Confederate Army headquarters in Galveston, Texas, that “all slaves are free" in an order to recalcitrant slaveholders.
This is the day when our country's founding sin — 246 years of enslavement — finally came to an end... Juneteenth has been a state holiday in Texas since 1980, and has long been celebrated in California, where many Texans journeyed during the Great Migration. Now, a total of 42 states and the District of Columbia recognize it as a state holiday or special day of observance.”
While there is still much work to be done to ensure justice for all Americans, I invite us to pause and reflect in honor of Juneteenth. In honor of enslaved persons and their descendants. In honor of all for whom justice is delayed. In honor of all for whom the “American Dream” is far off.
And I invite us to wonder about how we are called to bring justice and hope to our community. This Sunday, we will hear about one such opportunity: our worship will focus on the challenge of affordable housing. Come here John Pearson (West Parish member and former Andover Community Trust President) speak about the importance of housing, why it matters, and how we can share in the good work being done on Lupine Road.
See you then!