Sermon title: The Subtle Gap of Oppression
Scripture Reading: Exodus 1: 6-22 (New International Version “NIV”)
Hymn 1: Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Hymn 2: Go Down, Moses (Let My People Go)
Bio: TJ Harper serves as the Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences’ Associate for Racial Justice Ministries. Previously, TJ operated a nonprofit organization known as the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA), with programs in Chicago and Oakland, that has worked with over 900 youth through a sponsorship by Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/Operation PUSH. Prior to SJSA, TJ worked with the StriveTogether Foundation, a network dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children; City Hall in Chicago; and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin’s Office. He is also a 2014 Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow alumnus at Princeton University.
Workshop in Fellowship Hall after service: Examining a Church’s Goal to be Racially Inclusive
From PruCom – New Building Use Policy
Did you know that for Westford to legally incorporate as a Town in 1729 it was required to have a Church and a Minister? That Church was First Parish of Westford and for over 100 years Church and Town were one. Town Meetings were held here in our building until 1868 and the Church was the center of all religious, political, and social activity. Even Westford Academy graduation exercises took place here through 1907!
More than 275 years later as stewards of our historic Church building we are charged with protecting and preserving it, not just for our Congregation, but also for the community at large. With that in mind, the Prudential Committee has been diligently working on a revision of our Building Use Policy in order to safeguard and maintain the structure while simultaneously making it available to the Westford community in a streamlined, simplified and equitable process. A summary of the new policy follows:
a) Various spaces in our building are available for use by local groups whose goals are not inconsistent with our mission regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and its expression, or sexual orientation.
b) Pricing has been established with the goal of being affordable but at the same time accounting for our obligation to care for and maintain the building. Rules and restrictions have been put in place to protect the Church and furnishings and in consideration of our neighbors.
c) We are working on an approved list of groups who are affiliated with the Town or the Church and have historically been allowed to use rooms without charge – we want to keep that list short and not make exceptions to it so that the wear and tear on the building is generally paid for by those who actually use it.
d) Active Church members continue to be allowed to use the Sanctuary for wedding ceremonies, and the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall for funerals, without charge. In addition, active Church members are eligible to use all rooms for other personal (but not commercial) activities at half the price charged to the general public up to three times in each calendar year.
You can view the new Building Use Policy in its entirety by clicking on this attachment: FINAL Building Policies and Event Form-2.12.18 Please contact the Prudential Committee with any questions about this new policy.