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The Most Segregated Hour of the Week

On Sunday, July 29, Veronica Edward,  Ann Hill and Portia Robertson Migas will lead the first in a series of Adult Spiritual Formation conversations on different topics around the broader theme of “Hospitality, Loving Thy Neighbor and Welcoming the Stranger.”  During a 1960 “Meet the Press” interview, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared, “I think it is one of the tragedies of our nation, one of the shameful tragedies, that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated hours in Christian America.”

Luther Place council members, and the congregation as a whole, are continuing to explore initiatives in which we can engage as we can continue to progress toward a more inclusive congregation and community.

We will open our discussion by taking a look at Paul’s letter to the people of Ephesus, a Gentile community. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul notes that with Jesus as the cornerstone, the Gentiles are equal members of Christ’s household.  Paul writes, in Ephesians 2:21-22 , “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

If you are interested in reading more about how churches grappled with this issue during the Civil Rights Movement, you might enjoy this archival piece published it the New York Times: ‘11 A. M. Sunday Is Our Most Segregated Hour’; In the light of the racial crisis, a Christian leader assays ‘the structure and spirit’ of the nation’s churches, and asks some probing questions.

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