Artist, Scotty Utz,  is the creator of the sculpture that now hangs from the Sycamore tree at the far end of the Haywood Street garden. Much of Scotty’s work revolves around an attempt to reclaim the truth and the power of the cross. The three figures represented in this mobile are Jesus, Laura Nelson and Michael Brown.
In Scotty’s words:
    • We Carry Our Wounds
      Jesus of Nazareth, Judea, Roman Empire. Circa 33

    • Laura Nelson of Okemah, Oklahoma, USA. 1911

      Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, USA. 2014

      The Jesus story beckons us into radical community. The good news is that we all belong. For Trinitarians, God demonstrates that authentic community has both diversity and freedom. In the Trinity, there is no division or completion; equality exists without hierarchy or domination. God flows in unity and love amid divergence. Others have said that this kind of love sees “the other” and realizes it is not “other.”

      State-permitted executions are old and common stories. Our United States of America, were built on European Christian traditions and forged in the heat of white supremacy.  Our history- including executions- tells us the stories of who we are. Our work is to become whole, to see that of God in ourselves and “others” and reclaim our true identity as God’s children – even as we carry our wounds.

      Some queries/ meditations/ discussion questions:

      • What emotions well up in you when you see this?  
        • What thinking is behind those emotions?
      • What would change in our lives if we modeled our relationships on those that exist in the Trinity?
      • Where is the spirit of God blowing now?  
      • What strange fruit hangs in your neighborhood?
      • How are God and country related for you?
        • How are God and country incomparable?
      • How does the Jesus story speak to our understanding of race in America today?
      • How do we continue to benefit from the structures built by the founding fathers and others who came before us? How are we bound by the structures built by the founding fathers and others who came before us?
      • By our actions or inactions, how do we perpetuate white supremacy?
      • How can we explore hidden biases in ourselves?
      • What wounds do we carry?  
      • What balm do we need?
      • What balm do our neighbors need?
      • What balm does our nation need?