Alka's Angle June 19, 2019

Dear Broadway Family,
     Some of you may be aware of the ban on rap music at the Progress Bar, that has since been removed, that started or rather increased conversations around the issues of ‘racism’ in the Boystown/Lakeview area. An internal email that accidentally leaked into the community said, “Our goal is to promote a positive, happy, energetic, upbeat and most importantly... a fun vibe.”

     I do not know what made them take this step, but I do know that it caused them to stop in their tracks and reassess their decision. However, the conversation is not over. On June 5th several community leaders, in collaboration with the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches, met to begin conversations about the way people of color feel unwelcomed in Boystown. A “Racial Justice Summit” is scheduled for July 13th hosted by the Lighthouse Church. If you desire to represent Broadway UMC in this conversation, please RSVP here but also let the church office know so we are aware of those representing Broadway in this conversation.


    Friends, it is sad to think that a community that developed to create a safe haven for the lesbian, gay, trans and queer persons can be unwelcoming to other minority identities. But our guest preacher, Sue Laurie, reminded us that it can and does happen. Sometimes we become so protective of what we have achieved that we forget what it feels like to be excluded or that we are called to continue to grow in our welcome. We sometimes even forget that by holding on to what we have achieved, we are being un-hospitable to other people.

     As we get closer to Pride month, I invite us to think of the things that Broadway church stands for that make you proud! And then, I challenge us to think how we can do it better! Think if we need to modify what we do, so no one feels unwelcomed in our space, while at the same time making sure all who are in our space also feel safe. It is a long order to make sure everyone feels welcomed and safe at the same time. But together we can do it.

     Our Broadway Ministry Advocates (our leadership team), continue to have this conversation about safety and welcome too. For safety of all -- we have now keep our back door locked on weekdays -- even during group meetings, so there is only one entry. On Sundays, we continue to unlock both doors 15 minutes before worship. If you arrive before that, there are bells on both the entrances. The doors will be locked 15 minutes after the 2nd service is over. This is not to exclude anyone but to make sure all feel welcome. If you have a better suggestion, please share here.


     Friends, let us work towards becoming a church where all can feel welcome, all can feel accepted and all feel loved. And remember, I am always your partner in justice!