Porch Talks for a Beloved Community
A speaker series at Heights Christian Church in which social justice leaders share their prophetic voices, to provide a continued call to work toward the Beloved Community imagined by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Porch Talks 2020 Cancelled
Sunday, May 17 was to be the first Porch Talk for 2020. The Planning Team was excited to learn last fall that Connie Schultz, Ohio writer, columnist, and journalist had accepted our invitation to begin the 2020 series. With that exciting news we began to plan how we would build upon our successes in 2019 as we also recruited additional speakers for 2020.
But then the pandemic arrived. We explored – with input from our speakers – how we might adapt by using Zoom or other technology to offer Porch Talks without in-person contact. Though holding virtual Porch Talks held some promise we ultimately decided not to pursue that option. We were not certain enough that we could maintain the essential elements of a Porch Talks event by using a digital approach.
So we reluctantly decided to cancel the 2020 season of Porch Talks for a Beloved Community. Our scheduled speakers agreed with our decision and promised to work with us when we begin planning for 2021. Our Planning Team will reconvene in the fall of 2020 to begin work for the 2021 season. We appreciate your prayers and support for our efforts to build this ministry at Heights Christian Church.
The Porch Talks Planning Team
Heights Christian Church is a racially integrated congregation in Shaker Heights, Ohio, an intentionally racially integrated suburb of Cleveland. Our congregation has a legacy of speaking out regarding matters of social justice, particularly racial reconciliation.
In July 1965 we took the initiative to invite the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at our church. While many people reacted with fear and prejudice, our leadership persevered and Dr. King spoke from a porch of our church to a huge crowd assembled on the church property. (See footage here: https://www.heightschristianchurch.org/history/)
Dr. King often spoke of his vision of the “Beloved Community.” On its website, The King Center says of that vision:
“In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”
The work to achieve that goal continues at Heights Christian Church.
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