Lent 2020, Reparations: A Spiritual Practice of Redemption and for Joy

The work of reparations isn’t the invention of people of African descent out of the slavery experience or of white American liberalism. Reparations, for us are in our sacred scripture and are at least 2500 years old.. Reparation are spiritual necessary not because we owe it, because we caused the harm or benefitted from the harm, but because reparations restore, preparations redeem the community. Reparations set things spiritual, relationally, economically right in a community.

At Hope Central this Lent, this year, Hope Central will explore reparations for people of African Descent out of the Slavery Experience. We will preach, pray, provide opportunities to reflect and explore together, to support and encourage one another. We think our explorations will touch our sorrows and create joy in us. 

At the center of our focus and care will be our folks of African Descent Out of the Slavery Experience. 

We can imagine all of us will be reminded of Empire’s systemic discrimination, it’s impediments in our own lives, what has not be available or what has been lost, we women, we immigrants, we Queer folks, we humans. These losses may surface and beg us for attention. We will attend to them and we won’t lose our focus on reparations for folks of African Descent out of the slavery experience. Small identity/affinity groups for pastoral care to attend our needs and build our skill in intersectional solidarity will be formed as we need or want. For pastoral care individually or in small groups, Ezra Ercolini will be available for Trans/Non-Binary. Ash Temin will be available for our Straight folks, Laura Ruth for Lesbian/Gay/Bi/A Romantic/A Sexual folks, Ben Perkins folks of color, Ash and Laura Ruth for our Women folks. Any one of the pastoral staff, Laura Ruth, Ben, Ash, Ezra will be available to anyone for this work. 

Our Pastoral Staff be available to care for your needs so that at the center of our care for this work of reparations will be our folks of African Descent Out of the Slavery Experience. 

Preaching in Lent and for Easter

  • 3/1/20 – Laura Ruth, The Need, and the Ancient, Biblical, Theological Practices of Reparations, and Joy
  • 3/8/20 – Ben Perkins, Faith Based Divine Data, the Devastation of Racism, and Joy
  • 3/15/20 – Ezra Ercolini, The Gaslit Life, the Cost and Glory of Seeing Clearly, and Joy
  • 3/22/20 – The Rev. Dr. Teddy Hickman-Maynard, Associate Dean for Students and Community Life and Assistant Professor of Black Church Studies at Boston University School of Theology
  • 3/29/20 – Ash Temin, Deep Grief, Deep Joy
  • 4/5/20 – Palm Sunday, Parade and Passion Play
  • 4/12/20 – Ben Perkins, Reparations and Resurrection

Events and Opportunities

  • Why Reparations?: A Discussion. As we enter the Lenten Season, our theme will be reparations as a redemptive practice.  We recognize that this is a bold undertaking!  Where do we begin?  How do we begin?  And why does it matter?  These are all great questions, and we would like to provide a forum for discussing this critical practice.  Please join us as we engage with a few thoughtful resources:  The Groundwater Report, the 1619 Podcast (episode 2:  The Economy that Slavery Built), and The Vase for Reparations).  We will meet on 3/8, 3/22 and 4/6, 9:15-10:20 in the parlor.  Contact Ben Perkins or Abra Mims if you have any questions.
  • Contemplative Prayer Sit on Sunday Mornings, 10-10:25
  • Story Slam – A Saturday Evening, TBA
  • White People Talk about Race, a Sunday TBA, Noon-1
  • Small Affinity Groups as Wanted/Needed

Music Director Position

Hope Central in JP is pleased to announce we are looking for our next Music Director. We’ve been praying for that person. Please, would you have a look and distribute widely to your friends and people in the Boston Metro Area?

  To apply for this position please Click Here!


What Will We Do in the Interim Time?

We are pleased to say that by following the Spirit and with the wisdom of our Leadership Circle, the Rev. Benjamin Perkins and Ash Temin will service as Acting Associate Pastors. They will preach every six weeks or so, provide vacation and respite on call coverage for Laura Ruth, provide opportunities for adults education, be present to behold you, and with Laura Ruth and the Called to Care team, provide pastoral care.

During this interim time, our Leadership Circle will discern and lead a process by which our congregation may come to understand how to staff for our future. After our process, ratified by our people, Benjamin and Ash will relinquish their interim positions.

Neil Helme and Gillian DeLear have agreed to serve as our Music Co-Directors in the Interim. They too, will relinquish their interim positions when the already working Search Committee presents a candidate, ratified by the Leadership Circle.

We invite your prayers for our interim process.

What We Are Reading

Hope Central Church is a learning congregation. We keep learning by being in worship together, doing the work of compassion and justice, by hearing each others’ stories. We wanted to share what we’re learning by reading. Here’s what we are reading.

Parents’ Corner

Check out the Parents’ Corner on our Children’s page, for relevant resources from our Pastor for Children and Community Life, Courtney. Need some prayer ideas for children? You’ll find them here.

Daily Devotionals