Introducing the “Listening for God’s Liberation” Series: January through May 2017

After a little over a year of publishing conversations with our neighbors here in Church Hill, this year we are embarking on a new season in our listening.  For the next five months we will be carrying out the “Listening for God’s Liberation” series in our Sunday morning worship.  On the second and fourth Sundays (as well as a few Sundays in between) a member of our parish, either from the congregation or from the surrounding neighborhood, will share where they are seeing or hearing God active in our neighborhood.

We will continue to post this listening series as audio recordings throughout the five months.   Please do follow along whether a member of St. Peter’s, of another church, or resident in our community.  Here is audio from Pastor Andrew Terry introducing the series on Sunday, January 15, 2017:

Renovating homes, Connecting with Neighbors

On these walks we met two gentleman who were working on a house on 23rd.  The renovation of homes has moved north of Fairmount into our surrounding neighborhood.

We also encountered a child who we recognized from Summer Camp on the Hill. It is good for us through walks and other community activities to be a familiar face for families and young people in the East End.

Dinner with Our Neighbors: Non-violence as a theme

We had a dinner on July 6 for our neighbors.  Most of the neighbors came from 20th to 25th Street.  After introductions, we facilitated table conversations about “what our neighborhood looks like at its best.”  The quotes are now posted in our parish hall.  It was striking how much our neighbors were for non-violence right on the eve of all of the violence across the nation that occurred in the two weeks following our dinner.


25th Street that was

Today we walked 25th Street.

We heard from people who grew up around Church Hill and are now in their 60s and 70s about what was on that corridor.

There was a donut shop.  There was a Safeway where young people stood outside with wagons to walk people’s groceries home for them in exchange for 35 cents or a dollar.  There was an all day and all night place that only closed on Christmas day.  There was a jeweler, a shoe salesman.  It was the place of business, uptown, for African Americans because  you weren’t sure how you would be treated downtown.

Some people who grew up here still hang around there on 25th Street, because it has always been a gathering place.

What will the 25th Street that emerges over the next 5 years look like?  How will it reflect and how will it be different from the 25th Street that our elders remember?

Houses and a Grocery Store: Building

Building is happening so fast right now in the East End.

There were two walks this week.  The first went across 25th Street.  The houses are coming in fast.  Some were brought in on trucks and set up with cranes a couple months ago.  They are all inhabited now and other houses are going up quickly all around them and around our partner church Mt. Olivet.

Then we walked over to a community meeting about the new grocery store that will go in next to the roundabout next to Mt. Olivet.  The grocery store is going to be a game changer.  Development around it and around 25th Street and Nine Mile will happen so fast.  How can we be a voice advocating for development that betters the lives of all our people?