Discover Community Church is…a strange church. Two congregations that merged in 2019 to form a new entity, they have campuses in Maryland and Virginia, but they don’t meet together corporately as one body. Instead, two pastors, Kevin Jones and Wesley Johnson, lead their respective campuses by preaching from their living rooms.
Congregants can view the service online or attend “watch parties,” where a dozen people meet in different homes to watch the service online, which must be pre-registered to participate. These watch parties are ‘CDC compliant,’ and their language suggests they’re still concerned about COVID.
They meet only twice a month- every first and third Sunday for a virtual service. They encourage people to spend the second and fourth Sundays with family, and every 5th Sunday is Community Service Sunday, where there are no watch parties but rather “community service is our sole ministry focus for the day.”
During their Juneteenth Service, they featured a ‘mindful moment’- in-house created times of meditation before the services that feature a reassuring voice encouraging personal affirmations over serene video clips. It’s not something we’ve ever seen or heard of before being included in a liturgy, and this Juneteenth one wild indeed.
Close your eyes and draw your focus inward. Feel the air against your skin. Breathe deeply filling your lungs with another breath of life. With each breath your heart rate slows. Feel the power coursing through your veins.
It is the blood of those who survived so you could thrive. As it moves throughout your body, touching every part, it carries with it the wisdom and reminder of how you arrived here and who you are.
We are black. We live side by side in a different America. We constantly refine our ever-evolving language to speak truth. We write the soundtrack for progress. We move differently. The rhythm of our walk is hundreds of years of confidence from nimbly navigating obstacles that could never stop us.
We learn American history then we teach the rest of history so we aren’t forgotten. Our family is our community. We show up glistening. We don’t find joy, we create it in the arid places. We take what is discarded and weave wonders. We press our feet into the earth and provide the base that elevates the country for the world to see. Our strength is admired but our real strength is in our grace as we fight for equality instead of revenge.
We are black. We thrive anywhere under any conditions. We are not broken. We are honed. The fittest survivors. We do all of this with the world working against us. Imagine what we will be when that is no longer the case.
Open your eyes. Look at your hands. Turn them over in marvel at your melanin. It protects you from the sun. It signals to the world the wonder you are.
You are black. And you are beautiful. Today we celebrate us. We celebrate freedom that was, and is, and is to come.
h/t @wokepreachertv on Twitter for the original vid.