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Wilmington, Delaware Declared USA’s Most Dangerous City

in_wilmington.jpgThe post below is a re-print of an article that appeared in the “Hanover Flash,” the weekly newsletter of Hanover Street Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware.  The Reverend Andy Jacob, the pastor of that church and author of the article, gave his permission to re-print it here:


Yesterday’s paper was filled with responses to the news that Wilmington won a gold medal no one wants.  Parenting magazine released a list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America – and we won first prize.

The reactions were diverse and intriguing.  Some attacked the statistical method used in the analysis seeking to discredit the study – an intellectual form of denial.  Some responded in shock and surprise; others in resignation and despair.  Some used the prize to validate their desire to leave; others to reaffirm their commitment to stay.

I’m grateful for the distinction.

How often it is that change occurs when someone from the outside names the things that have gone astray on the inside.  The times that I have been most compelled to work for change in my own life have been when someone named my need to change.  If the humiliation of this honor leads us to make our beloved community safer and more hospitable for all of God’s children, then it well have been a gift from God.

This is nothing more or less than the Biblical prophets did, most of all Jesus.  Traveling from town to town, they spoke publicly to the ways in which those places were not honoring all of God’s children.  In the cases and places where people heard the message and responded righteousness prevailed.  In the cases and places where the people rejected the message and the messenger – the crucifixion – the injustices remained.

May God grant us ears to hear this message, hearts to accept it, and the will to respond with courage and conviction.

— Rev. Andy Jacob

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