Wearing red t-shirts with the phrase “putting legs on our prayers” on the back, more than 50 United Methodists marched in the 84th annual Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 10, 2013. The NIC Urban Strategy team organized this year’s entry in the oldest and largest African-American parade in the country which traditionally kicks off the school year.
“We wanted to let the community know that as United Methodists we are praying for our schools, students, teachers and administrators this coming year,” said Bishop Dyck.
Kelly Patton, a member of Mandell UMC, remembers marching in the parade as a young girl and was proud to be marching with fellow United Methodists and her church family along with her her daughter and stepson. “It’s really important for me to be here and it means a lot to for us to show support to the Chicago Public schools and to let them know we care about the city of Chicago,” said Patton.
The St. Mark United Methodist Church (UMC) Martial Arts Ministry Worship Demonstration Team and the MYX (Methodist Youth For Christ) juggling troupe from Edison Park UMC joined in marching with the group. Hartzell UMC graciously opened its doors and parking lot for participants before and after the parade. Marchers came from several churches in the Chicago Southern and Northwestern Districts including Maple Park, St. Mark, South Shore, G2G, Mandell, Olivet, Maywood and Resurrection.
“This was a great occasion to enjoy this beautiful day and be in fellowship,” said NIC Urban Ministry Coordinator who added the parade was a great way to live out our urban strategy. “But this is a great day to be a witness to the community around us as we pray for our schools throughout this year and we put legs on our prayers!”
The Rev. Barbara Morgan of St. Mark UMC says she put her walking shoes on to take part in the parade to show the community that United Methodists care. “We wanted the city to know the United Methodist church is here and we are concerned about safety in our communities,” said Morgan. “Our presence says more than just prayers. We put action behind our prayers by being here and to show that we too want a safe community.”
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