I hope this message finds each of you, your family, congregations, neighbors and colleagues safe and well.
The last several weeks have been intense and an opportunity for us to see our interconnectedness beyond happenstance. We have all been reminded that the actions of one can affect so many and the idea of community has been elevated.
In the last two months, I have had the opportunity to meet several ACTS members, discussing where we are as an organization and what would be helpful in moving forward. Repeatedly, I hear how critical it is for people of faith to organize and amplify the voice of those most silenced, marginalized and underrepresented in planning and decision-making. It is those people who are yet always the ones bearing the burden of impact.
Over and over I hear the need for a prophetic voice and vision to create these catalytic moments that others can jump into and effect tangible change in our community and beyond. I also have come to understand that ACTS has needed to make some changes to increase its effectiveness for quite some time.
There seems to be no convenient time for such a change. But without the change people will continue to suffer. Whether it is inequity, imprisonment or white supremacy, oppression still beats on our doors. Much like this pandemic. While privilege creates a cushion and often a barrier for many, this pandemic reminds us that somethings don’t discriminate. As humanity, we are all affected. We cannot continue to exist in our privileges, and we all have them to some degree, some more than others.
I believe in the collective work of ACTS
I believe that people of faith can make a significant impact in the lives of others
I believe that ACTS can be instrumental in the dismantling of the infrastructures that keep so many bound.
I believe that that our time is now and it has fallen to us!
Join me this month in recommitting to our community, the restructure and activation of ACTS and the efforts to level the playing field that our fellow humanity deserves!
“If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?”
Hillel the Elder, First Century Jewish Scholar
There will soon be opportunities for us to gather and recommit:
- Rescheduling of the March Leadership Council Meeting
- Town Hall Meeting
- Statement from the Board
Please look for these things over the month,
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE – live-streamed at 6pm on April 10
Hopps Memorial CME Church is gathering the clergy who participated in the 400 Years of Inequality to lead an evening service of meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Part of the historic Black Church tradition during Holy Week, Rev. Dr. Burns invited an ecumenical, multicultural group of leaders to offer reflections as a sign of unity, stability and hope for the Syracuse Community
The leaders are: Rev. Eric Jackson, Plymouth Congregational Church; Rev. Beth DuBois, South Valley Presbyterian Church and CNY Poor People’s Campaign (CNYPPC); Rev. Marcus Jackson, Hope Memorial Community Church and CNYPPC; Rev. Linda Briggs, Hopps Memorial CME Church; Rev. Frank Gibson; Director of Interfaith Initiatives, Interfaith Works; Rev. Alicia Wood, University United Methodist Church and CNYPPC; and Rev. Dr. Bruce Burns, Hopps Memorial CME Church.
- 1st word | Rev. Eric Jackson | Luke 23:34 | “Father Forgive Them”
- 2nd word | Rev. Beth DuBois | Luke 23:42 | “Today You Will Be With Me”
- 3rd word |Rev. Marcus Curtis | John 19:25-29 | “Woman, Behold Thy Son”
- 4th word | Rev. Linda Briggs | Matthew 2:46 | “My God, My God”
- 5th word | Rev. Frank Gibson | John 19:28 | “I Thirst”
- 6th word | Rev. Alicia Wood | Luke 23:46 | “Into thy Hands”
- 7th word | Rev. Bruce Burns | John 19:30 | “It is Finished”
The service will begin at 6PM on Friday, April 10 and be live-streamed on Facebook, Youtube and Zoom. To find the Facebook and Youtube live-streams, please go to the Hopps Memorial CME Zion Church, Syracuse facebook page. To be sent the zoom link, please email Rev. Beth DuBois at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS)
April Events Calendar
ACTS Race Matters Book Club Meeting – Featured book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” by James H. Cone, Monday, April 27th at 7:30 PM via Zoom. Email invitation will follow to join the meeting. For questions, contact Peter Sarver at email@example.com
ACTS Board Meeting – Thursday, April 30th at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Email invitation will follow to Board members.
ACTS would like to recognize the following upcoming observances celebrated by faith communities throughout our area during the month of April:
- Wednesday, April 8th – Passover Begins at Sunset (Judaism)
- Wednesday, April 8th – Hanamatsuri (Buddha’s Birthday) (Buddhism)
- Friday, April 10th – Good Friday (Christian)
- Sunday, April 12th – Easter (Christian)
- Tuesday, April 14th – Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) (Sikh)
- Friday, April 17th – Eastern Orthodox Good Friday (Orthodox Christian)
- Sunday, April 19th – Eastern Orthodox Easter (Orthodox Christian)
- Thursday, April 23rd – May 23rd – Ramadan (Islam)
The Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse (ACTS) is a grassroots, interfaith network advocating for social justice. We are voices striving for a more just and fair community that improves the quality of life for all.