As humans we are drawn to stories. We react to the story of a real person very differently than we react to facts and statistics. A story enables us to make a connection and build compassion for that individual. From that compassion and understanding, we can grapple with the question of who God is calling us to be in the world.
The memorial in the Narthex, You Are My Beloved Child, honors individual stories of people impacted by social justice issues. The goal of the memorial is to engage people in a personal way on the social justice issues facing our community, making connections and building compassion. Its stories will feature real people who have personally experienced a variety of social justice issues, including gun violence, immigration, domestic violence, mental health, homelessness, and human trafficking. Each exhibit will include a single photo, story, and biblical connection—helping us make a faith connection to these contemporary stories.
In designing the memorial, Carol Damonte wanted to create an invitation into a holy space, offering individuals a personal connection, an opportunity for compassion, and—for those who are ‘doers’—an invitation to courageous action.