Last week in D.C. was all about walking and listening. People from different religious groups shared one concern: racism is sin and should be stopped. The Rally against Racism was initiated by the Council of Bishops and started with a three-hour ecumenical worship service in St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The sanctuary was packed. If believers from so many different denominations managed to overcome religious differences and worshipped together, then there is hope for all.
After the event was over, we moved to Alexandria, VA to spend five days with the family. My son Paul also joined us on Saturday on his way to North Carolina. We slept like Gypsies, and it added to the experience. Again, it was all about walking and listening. We went together to the Museum of the Bible, National Geographic Museum, where we saw the 3-D/VR image of the tomb of Christ. And, again, we walked and listened. In the Museum of the Bible, an actor dressed as a rabbi asked who heard the name of Jesus Christ, and many people, including our four-year-old Katya, raised their hands.
People need to believe to have hope and confidence in the future. Children need to believe that their lives matter.
Today, we handed out bracelets with the word “BELIEVE” to children at Carden Park elementary school right before they started a tough math test. Karen Gibson ordered beautiful leather bracelets with the word “BELIEVE” engraved on a metal plate. You needed to see what difference those bracelets made for seventy-five children who felt quite nervous about the test! Jennifer Culver and the teachers were so happy for their students! After Cindy Allen greeted children and wished them good luck and Mary Buckler gave children their gifts, one boy asked, “Where is your church? I want my parents to take me to your church.”
Francis Street First helped so many children today to believe in themselves and to assure them that their future matters to all of us.

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