4.24.2010

Created Equal

Sorry that it has been a while! We have been busy though and would love to tell you about it...

Our staff team visited the International Civil Rights Museum about a week after it opened in early February. The museum is located in the former downtown Greensboro Woolworth's store. That is the location where the famous 1960 sit-in movement began and spread throughout the South. Four college students from NC A&T courageously sat down at the store's lunch counter and refused to get up until they received service. It took quite awhile, but this simple act served as a catalyst to lead to desegregation. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." --Declaration of Independence
The museum itself is well designed to maximize your experience by fully engaging your senses. The museum highlights much more than just the sit-in movement, but that is certainly the focal point and there is even part of the original lunch counter still there. The museum features a modern design, but it's not too big and overwhelming like some others. The visit should only take around an hour to see everything. Here is quote from the website about the museum:
Fifty years ago, the F.W. Woolworth building in Greensboro, N.C., stood as a reminder of segregated life in the south. Today, the building stands as a monument to the power of human courage and its ability to bring about social change. The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is more than just a building designed to house historical exhibits and artifacts. It is a place to witness, to experience and to discuss how to affect social change in our own nation and around the world.
A few things to note:
(1) I love the fact that students from NC A&T started this, since it's a historically black college right here in Greensboro. You can actually change the world from here in the Triad. We work with college students because we really do believe college students are strategic in shaping the present with their courageous spirit and in shaping the future when they become influential leaders in virtually every company, industry, city, and country. Pray for them to leverage this influence to be bold witnesses and also to impact the world with the Gospel.

(2) Also, I believe the platform for social change is the Gospel. A simple definition of this Gospel is that we are loved and accepted by God through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection alone. That levels the playing field for everyone. We all can have a relationship with God the same way: by faith in the work of Christ. When your money, family, friends, intellect, skills, work, good deeds, etc. can't gain you favor...now that is true equality. The Lord created us all and this world for His glory. However, we are all fallen and we all live in a broken world. In a world which is well acquainted with sadness, fear, loneliness, and hatred...this Gospel brings hope, healing, and restoration and opens our eyes to see beauty in places of significant brokenness, pain, and suffering. God is in the process of making us and the world new again through the redemptive work of Christ! Once we understand the implications of this (racially, environmentally, etc.), we can see the value of every person and every thing. The root for the dignity and value of man stems from the fact that man was created in the image of God. That is the grounding for the unalienable rights the authors of the Declaration of Independence championed and which we are still fighting to achieve in this world. So continue to pray for and fight to bring social, spiritual, and cultural renewal in this world, but do so with a right motivation and perspective.

I encourage you to visit the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, both if you are from the local community or are visitors from across the country. I also encourage you to think through ways that you can help bring spiritual, social, and cultural renewal in the world! Because like I was reminded, we can all be used to change the world.


Shalom,
Jeff