New York Congregation pledges $200,00 to ‘Reparations’

A historic New York City congregation has pledged about a tenth of its budget for housing assistance and anti-racism training.

Middle Collegiate Church located in downtown New York is a multiethnic congregation founded in 1628 by Dutch Reformed settlers.  The 1400 member congregation’s pastor, the Rev. Jacqueline Lewis said, “We are doing reparations.” 

During remarks, Lewis noted the church’s historic role supporting unjust systems and how current social justice based ministries are seeking to be faithful to the church’s vision for ministry.  Lewis stated the church was founded by Dutch Reformed settlers who bought land that was taken from the Lenape, a Native American nation and several clergy persons throughout the church’s history were slaveholders.

Half of the congregation’s planned $200,000 of reparations will be directed at helping persons who’s unemployed benefits through the CARES Act have expired. The remaining $100,000 will go to partnerships that assist “homeless Black and brown queer teens” and to help form “a peacemaking, anti-racist cadre of young people who are learning what adults are learning about anti-racism and how to make a more just America.”

Lewis remarked, “We have a way to change the story on racism in America, even while we’re sheltered. And people are responding.” To learn more about the social justice advocacy work of Middle Collegiate, please visit https://www.middlechurch.org/.

Source: Good News Network