Alison Faison

More About Juneteenth

Join the Calvary Racial Equity Initiative (REI) Team after worship this Sunday, June 18, to celebrate our newest Federal holiday and the oldest known holiday that observes the end of slavery in the U.S. Enjoy Coffee Hour with treats from a local Black-owned business and information about Black heroes. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Gen. Gordon Granger announced that the enslaved people in Texas were free by the order of the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1862. The Calvary church building will be closed on Monday, June 19 to commemorate Juneteenth. This blog will provide links to Juneteenth history resources and information about reparations. Amos 5:24 “But let justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry.”

The Calvary Racial Equity Initiative (REI) Team has been doing great work over the years to provide important conversations, workshops, book talks, and public actions that raise up antiracist practices. They hosted the second “Do the Work! Antiracism Workshop” last Sunday, as well as provided an invitation to join last Thursday’s “Reparations for African Americans via Zoom” meeting with San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition’s meeting with Donald Tamaki of the California State Task Force on Reparations for African Americans. In January, Calvary folks walked in the San Francisco Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March as well as stayed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the program on Reparations with SF Human Rights Commission Director, Sheryl Davis, Rev. Amos Brown and several others.

Reparations negotiations are happening at city, state, and federal levels. This Politico article suggests that reparations up to $1.2 million per person could happen in CA. The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee’s 60-page proposal includes the criteria for receiving reparations. “To be eligible for reparations, San Francisco residents must be 18 years or older, have been identifying as Black or African American on public documents for at least 10 years, and meet two of eight additional criteria, including having been born or migrating to the city between 1940 and 1996 as well as showing proof of at least 13 years of residency; Having been incarcerated “by the failed War on Drugs” or being the direct descendant of someone who was; Being a descendant of someone who was enslaved through US chattel slavery before 1865; Having been displaced between 1954 and 1973 or being a descendant of someone who did; Being part of a marginalized group who experienced lending discrimination in the city between 1937 and 1968 or in “formerly redlined” communities within the city between 1968 and 2008, according to the committee’s plan.”

During the Calvary Antiracist Workshop, people made suggestions about what we could do to raise awareness about harmful systemic policies. We could walk the Fillmore St. neighborhood and find out where the redlining happened, mainly in Western Addition. Jennifer Gee facilitated writing down community ideas. There are similar recommendations from the “Big List of Actions You Can Take” within the Do the Work: An Antiracist Workshop workbook” by W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz. Some of the positive suggestions were: “Reassure folks that workshops are safe. We all need to be ambassadors. How do we partner with neighborhood resources focusing on early education? Share personal stories. Join conversations about reparations. Volunteer and work with people different than you. Attend events. Continue educating ourselves. Get buy in from groups in church. Engage with other groups of color that are already doing things: museum event, clean a park, etc. then have a meal together.”

Here is a list of resources collated by the REI Team. It is easy to get overwhelmed by information. Take your time choosing a resource. Share what you learn with someone. Join actions that are already happening.

Many thanks for the consistent work of the entire REI Team.

Appreciations to the REI Planning Team: Kathy Bear, Betsy Dodd, Sally Durgan, Priscilla Dwyer, Alexa Frankenberg, Jen Gee, Marci Glass, Erin King, Tosca Lee. Ann Myers, and Joanne Whitt





Marci Glass• The New York Times:


• Mental Floss:


From the Do the Work: An Antiracist Workshop workbook.


• History of Juneteenth:

• What is Juneteenth?:

• Juneteenth: Freedom at Last:–E


• The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States by Alliah L Agostini, Illustrated by Sawyer Cloud

• Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper


• Free at Last – Juneteenth Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle


• Museum of African Dispora:

• Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture:

• California African American Museum:

• Buffalo Soldiers Museum:

• Museum of African American History:

• National Center for Civil and Human Rights:

• New Orleans African American Museum:

• Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture:

• Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum:

• Old Slave Mart Museum:

• National Civil Rights Museum:

• Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park:


More to Explore

Calvary’s 169 Years of Change-Makers

Occasionally I hear comments to the effect of, “Calvary’s recent highlighting of political issues can deter people from attending worship services.” My response is something like, “Since July 23, 1854, for 169 years, Calvary has been addressing human rights issues directly related to Jesus’ radical welcome. In 2020, we, along with many congregations across the U.S., became a Matthew 25 church that outwardly proclaims our commitment to feeding the hungry, clothing the unclothed, housing the unhoused, and loving those who are pushed aside and threatened by the workings of established societal systems.” In July 2021, I wrote a short children’s book called “You are a Calvary History-Maker.” I noted stories researched by Joe Beyer and information written in Carol Green Wilson’s book “Many Years One Message: Calvary Presbyterian Church: 1854 – 1979.” The opening line of my story is, “You are a Calvary history change-maker whether you have been sitting on the velvet sanctuary pew for half of your life or have only watched a few online services while sitting in your jammies on the couch this year.” The Protestant idea that we are the “community/priesthood of believers” gives us all permission to participate in our own faith-formation, as well as points to the responsibility to actively respond to our call. We don’t attend worship so we can watch the pastors and staff do community outreach. We attend worship to be inspired to courageously carry out the call of Matthew 25 into our relationships, work life, spiritual growth, and public action.

Summer with Children and Youth

Summer is a busy time for families as they shift from the school-year schedules to summer camps, programs, and vacations. How does church fit into families’ summer schedules? Many years ago, Calvary held summer worship services in the chapel and did not offer childcare. It was a time when pastors would go on study leave and vacations and folks would be out of town. It was a good time for families to sit together during worship. For almost ten years, we have had childcare open every Sunday throughout the year. We support families whenever they come to Calvary. Families have the choice to sit together during worship or walk their children to childcare and Sunday Studio.

Wear Orange: When Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough

Isaiah 2:4 says, “He will settle arguments between nations. They will pound their swords and their spears into rakes and shovels; they will never make war or attack one another.” I read Sandy Hook Promise posts on Instagram and cannot escape thinking of the horror a parent experiences after their child or teen is shot. This is not sensationalism or fake news. On August 27, 2019, I took my middle school daughter to Lincoln High School for a Town Hall on gun sense, directly relating to the shooting of 15-year-old Day’von Hann, a student who lived in the Mission District. Then Speaker Nanci Pelosi, Rep. Jackie Speier, Founder of Moms Demand Action Shannon Watts, CA Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, and 17-year-old Phillip and Sala Burton High School student and member of United Playaz, AJ Santiago led the meeting. After these change-maker women shared personal experiences, data, and gun sense bill proposals, I was sure we would have gun violence reform. I was wrong. The CDC says that firearm incidents are the second-leading cause of death among American children and teens. One out of ten gun deaths involve age 19 or younger. Everytown Research relays that “there were more school shootings in 2022 (46 shootings) than in any other year since Columbine.” One would think that this statistic would be enough to take immediate action to make common gun sense bills into law and enforce them in court. Money talks, so many of the proposed bills continue to be blocked by gun supporter groups. How do we empower our children and teens to use their power to urge legislative, judicial, and executive branches to make change now? We need to continue telling stories of the pain and grief that parents and adults continue to experience after a child dies because of gun violence. Speaking the truth that advocates protection of all people follows Jesus' non-violent civil disobedience against the empire. Christians are obligated to love their neighbor and care for the vulnerable. If they do not want to prevent gun violence against innocent civilians, their beliefs are not based in Jesus' life-affirming truth.