As a person of faith I value stories. I value history. I was taught to value truth. As I enjoy a day off this Labor Day I want to reflect, just for a moment, on the history and truth behind Labor Day.
The first Labor Day parade was held September 5, 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City.
Labor Day began out of a protest, resulting in more protests that disturbed the status quo. The economy was disrupted. Some businesses, like railroads, were burned down. The protestors were criminalized. People even died.
At the time as the movement took shape these protestors were called unpatriotic and criminal. They were demeaned and dehumanized. But the protesters and organizers persisted.
Now we celebrate it as part of the “American story.” Yet, we repeat the same behaviors and labeling for different movements, especially the ones we do not like that disrupt the status quo.
It is helpful to know history, but only if you and I are willing to humbly learn.
May we be humble. May we learn.
As we remember Labor Day and enjoy its benefits, let’s remember the story.
Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience.
Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas.
Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.