As a community of faith, our hearts break for Pastor Mark Dixon and our friends and neighbors from The Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center, whose enduring commitments toward putting love into action in Springfield are simply unparalleled.
We express our anger and sadness at these demeaning and dehumanizing insults and slurs, spray-painted on a building that has long stood for dignity and decency. These acts of vandalism are far too representative of the state of affairs here in Springfield, wherein racism/white supremacy is often coddled, coded and carefully curated without any degree of accountability for actions that perpetuate it (including actions in very high places on a very public level). We join with others to condemn such actions and to commit ourselves to join the work of building a better Springfield that does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly, in the spirit of mutuality and love. May our prayers for our friends and neighbors from the Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center lead to actions (both short term and long term) that will be part of the healing and transformation that is so needed in Springfield and beyond.
We will use our Facebook page to share volunteer opportunities to help clean up the vandalism as we learn about them.
Online donations to BDNC are very much needed and can be made at http://gifts.bartley-decatur.org.