The Morning Star Baptist Church in Boston was filled with hundreds of mourners, gathered to pay their last respects to a local parishioner. Suddenly, without warning, violence erupted. Thirteen young men in black hoods strode into the church, picked out someone in one of the pews, and – as he tried to escape from the back of the church – stabbed him nine times on different parts of his body. For the black clergy serving Boston’s inner city community and for the charismatic Reverend Eugene Rivers in particular, it was the final straw – the moment they decided they had to do something about the escalating crisis of violence in the city. The result was the formation of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, an ecumenical group working to mobilise the community around issues affecting black and Latino youth – and especially those at risk from violence, drug abuse, and other destructive behaviour. The Coalition’s goal wasn’t to replace the local church – but to make it more effective in the work of rebuilding community by getting out onto the streets – ‘to walk the walk and talk the talk’ with the city’s growing numbers of alienated and disaffected young people. “I’ve found that I’ve had some of my most profound theological discussions,” explains the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, “not in the hallowed halls of some of the seminaries in this area – but in the street corners, in a park, at midnight on a Friday night.”
tve is the trading name of Television for the Environment. Television for the Environment is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (registered office 292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London. SW1V 1AE, company number 1811236) and a registered charity (charity number 326585). Copyright © 2017 tve.