YVSP deeply values broad-based collaboration, and we are encouraged to see one particular effort toward unity and collaboration in Boston's faith community: Churches United for Youth Peace (CUYP).
Churches United for Youth Peace
CUYP is a program of The Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (BMA), and it's sponsored by StreetSafe Boston. Rev. Sylvia Johnson, together with others from the BMA and StreetSafe, started the program about a year ago. They were aware that churches already do a lot to both prevent and address violence.
The idea behind CUYP is simply that they can do more by working together. During the last year, they have gathered representatives of dozens of local churches and faith-based organizations in order to network and increase awareness about the kind of work each group is already doing. They aim to educate members about resources available for ministries or projects and also to look for further opportunities develop unity amongst faith-based programs promoting peace.
Start the Peace
Jin Min Lee, EGC Consulting's Assistant Director and part of the YVSP team, was at the January meeting. She was inspired by a reflection entitled "Start the Peace," given by Priscilla Flint of Mt. Olive Kingdom Builders Worship Center. Jin Min said it gave "a compelling call for churches to work together" and noted its affinity with YVSP's values.
A few excerpts from Sister Flint's reflection will give you a sense of the passion and perspective of CUYP:
"As I look at the world today, everyone is calling for peace but, there seems to be no peace. Not in our homes, our communities, or our country."
"In order for us to get by day to day, we need perfect peace. We need the peace that surpasses all understanding. We need peace in our jobs, peace in our homes, and peace in our community. We as churches united have to come together for peace. We can no longer be divided."
"We will not always agree on everything, but we do have to agree on something. We have to agree that it is not OK for our children to continue to be shot and killed in the streets. We have to agree that this is everybody's problem, and not just one community."
"We have to get our youth on board and work with them, and let them know we love them, and we care about them."
"We as preachers, teachers, parents, pastors, community people, law enforcement have to work together to stop the violence in our community. We have to be peacemakers."
Rev. Johnson believes that the faith community has a responsibility to create peace, but it's a shared responsibility. If you'd be interested in becoming involved with CUYP, contact Rev. Sylvia Johnson at email@example.com or (617) 445-2737 x30.