July 19-july 25th
@ Shechem Lot & host sites around greater milwaukee
Paint a reed and help support shechem!
1. Purchase a reed
2. Paint a reed
3. Write your
name/organization/business on reed
4. Reed will be hung in Shechem!
event goal: $100,000
Can I share with you a picture of my beloved Milwaukee? It’s morning and she’s waking up to a beautiful day. The Garden Homes Neighborhood didn’t always live up to her name but she does now. There are gardens blossoming and fruit ripening of many kinds. The most amazing growth in this neighborhood is in her people. They are diverse, kind, and flourishing. It is safe, welcoming and peaceful here on 26th and Capitol.
That’s the picture I see as I look ahead to a future we are hoping for. It’s that vision that will lead us on the path from the status quo. Because right now 53206 is anything but diverse, peaceful and flourishing. The question is how do we get there?
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
We follow the path of Justice. Isaiah is pointing us toward Justice. Justice can be found in Shechem, our community center, where it’s safe to be known and real. So we have reason to hope, despite being bruised as we wait and work for justice.
Hope Street has three core principles, or maybe better put, three promises we make to our members, our staff, and our neighbors. We Cultivate Hope, We Build Community and We Protect our community from harm. Recent injustice has caught the world’s attention. The protests have sought to bring attention to racism, segregation, discrimination and dehumanzing treatment of people of color. With the hope that we progress towards reconciliation, restoration and reparations when necessary. This progress begins relationally.
Shechem is a place where relationships are born, nurtured, and grow into eternal bonds. In order to see tangible evidence of that community of friends, neighbors, sisters, and brothers, we created the The Bruised but not Broken wall. It will be in the atrium area of Shechem and will be seen from both inside and out as a celebration of our diversity, confession of our hurt, and hope of reconciliation, of justice. The wall is 30 feet tall, 14 feet wide, and will have 200 reeds. Each reed will be 2-8 feet tall and three sided. One side of the reed will be attached to the wall, leaving the other two sides exposed. Each side will be painted different colors; one side in warm hues like shades of yellow and orange, the other in cool hues like blues and greens. As you walk by the wall it will appear that the colors are changing because from one perspective you will only see one (a yellow) side, then you will see both (yellow and blue) and as you move past the middle back to only one (the blue side). This artful expression is representative of our hope that as we get to know one another our perspectives will change. We will no longer see ourselves solely as individuals but members of a community, and we will see that community of bruised, but beautiful people created in God’s own image and inherently dignified.
We are inviting everyone no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or lack thereof, disability, or background to join us. ALL are welcome to come down and paint a reed. Shechem will be an inclusive space meant for people to come together, learn from one another and engage in community. Each reed will be painted by two different people so that we can come together across communities and build relationships that go further than the ones that are expected. You will get to sign your name, and confess in your own heart, “I am bruised but not broken”. This will serve as a reminder that you belong, and you are a part of Shechem. You will always be able to come and show your friends and family about the day you changed and what that felt like for you. We will do this outside on the site of Shechem the week of July 19th as well as in homes across the Greater Milwaukee Area. You can visit our website for more information: https://www.hopestreetministry.org/shechem.
Additionally this is an opportunity for you to help financially support the building of Shechem. To date we have raised nearly $750,000.That has been used to get us in position to break ground this August. We are selling each of these reeds but don’t let financial difficulties deter you from participating. So if all you have is a dollar, that is enough. If you have more, please consider giving more. Our goal is to raise $100,000 from the sale of the reeds.
“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.”
--Brian Stephenson, Just Mercy