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Black pastor unapologetically preaches social justice

In opening her sermon on Friday, Bianca Davis Lovelace, executive director of Renton Ecumenical Association, said she is unapologetically a black, college educated social justice preacher.

Bianca Davis Lovelace heads Renton Ecumenical Association.

“As I wrestle with the text that through the spirit we are given faith, healing, prophesy, speaking tongues, interpreting, but it’s the same spirit, God whispers words of contrition and repentance.  I come to the conclusion that I can’t preach transformation and revival without acknowledging contribution by leaders in the country.

“Unity and diversity are not manifested as God wants,” she said. “It is immoral to refuse to love people, address poverty, deal with injustice, welcome strangers and care for the least. This country is rooted in genocide, marginalizing communities. The country has yet to repent of original sin. Racism is ingrained in the fabric of the DNA of the country and may engage in it not knowing.

“I was raised in the Black church, an environment that promotes social justice,” Bianca said. “Therefore, I preach and teach from a social justice lens.

“We see a person truly humbled before we honor what bring to the table and to the country. We see as human or objectify,” she said. “The country has seen only monetary value of black bodies. The culture only cares for the black body if it’s controlled or makes money. The only value of immigrants is if we find a way to exploit them. We do not see immigrants and human.

“The country is rooted in Christian values. Are we worshiping God about God dwelling in human form or God of capitalism and white supremacy? Who is your God? Transformation only begins with repenting sin of genocide of Native Americans, slavery of black community. Then we move to repair.

“It looks like rehabilitation, not mass incarceration. Black Christians, Muslims and Jews worship freely without fear for their lives. We want to pray and worship in peace. We want children to go to school without fearing gun violence. We want all God’s people live where they want to live, not be pushed out by gentrification and red-lining.
“We want white accomplices, not allies, accomplices are ready put their bodies on the line for their brothers and sisters of color,” Bianca said.

“It’s time to transform now. The village is on fire. Will you sit in complicity and silence, watching it burn?  No more complicity and silence,” Bianca challenged. “Transformation is not that.

“Accomplices ready to do the work to transform so all gaps people experience are gone. We need to move forward today, not one step back. We need new and reforming churches,” she said.

Bianca, who holds a bachelor’s degree in speech from Jackson State University and a master’s in nonprofit management from Columbia College in Chicago, earned an MDiv in 2013 from Chicago Theological Seminary and is an ordained UCC pastor. In addition to pastoral ministry, she was an early intervention specialist and health educator for clients with HIV with the Cook County Health and Hospital Systems. She is executive director of the Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH), one of the tri-chairs in Washington for the Poor People’s Campaign and co-founder of Progressive Millennials for Action. She also serves on the Justice Witness Ministries Committee.

Pacific NW UCC News - Copyright © Summer 2019


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