Many of you have met my friend Queen over the last few weeks. Queen founded New Eyes Village (NEV), a faith-based community focused on gathering and liberating Black folks through fellowship and formation. NEV met at Heart of the Rockies Christian Church for the last five years until HRCC started their construction projects. Now, NEV meets at Plymouth on Sunday afternoons and Friday evenings.
NEV is “nesting” in our building, and we are hoping that they can feel fully at home in our space. On Sunday afternoons, Queen and some other NEV members come in to cook lunch for their worship service. Their youth often hang out in the youth room, playing games with us like Hide and Seek tag or Exploding Kittens. On Friday evenings, a small group of women gather for the Hearts & Roots womxn’s group.
The Christian Formation Board chartered a ministry team that is focused on walking with NEV during this “nesting” process. Our hope is that in their first year with us, we can build and strengthen our partnership through relationships. My dream is to see NEV feel fully at home in our shared space. We would love you to volunteer your time in getting to know this community! I invite the whole church to introduce yourself to Queen and NEV whenever you see them at Plymouth, but I also invite anyone interested in joining us in this work to reach out to me or the ministry team.
As we were forming the team, one of our members who works closely with FFH talked about the importance of trauma-informed care when working with marginalized populations. As a predominantly white congregation in a predominantly white town, it is our job to make ourselves safe people and to make our church a safe space. In the future, the Christian Formation board hopes to offer opportunities for our church to explore together what this can look like.
Desmond Tutu wrote, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Silence - as you know - is violence. And I am so glad to be journeying with a congregation that refuses to be silent. I know that our congregation wants to be engaged in social justice and loving our Fort Collins community and responding to their needs. Partnering with New Eyes Village is an opportunity for us to practice extravagant welcome and radical hospitality.