Since 2014 a Black Lives Matter banner demonstrated commitment to the cause on the Calvary United Methodist church building at 48th and Baltimore Avenue. Over the years the banner became tattered and worn and had to be taken down. Patched with duct tape and plywood it was re-installed in the front church garden to honor a BLM protest caravan July 2020. Following the protest, the banner enriched the garden and our community for weeks and was then stolen! The banner team as well as the congregations worshipping in the church building pray the banner is well cared for and cherished in its new unknown location.
A banner team was organized and formulated a design for a new replacement banner. Local Spruce Hill artists, Carl Ballinger, Greg Scott, and Joy Ude, incorporated both the Black Lives Matter message along with the rainbow colors exemplifying “All Means All” representing the Calvary United Methodist tradition as a reconciling congregation where “all are welcome in God’s inclusive love”. Textile artist and local seamstress Aetna Gallagher sewed the banner. Installation was managed by the Calvary Center for Culture and Community (4C’s), the non-profit management corporation of the building. Rich Kirk, President of the 4C’s board, states, “The banner installation represents an incredible team effort that shows the commitment to our diverse community.” February 26, 2021 the new banner is installed and now beams down at 48th and Baltimore Avenues, the corner of spirituality and justice!
The Calvary Building is home to local community associations, refugee groups, Twelve Step programs, the historic preservation society, art and cultural activities, music series, theater, peace and social justice organizations, educational classes, and several religious congregations. The building also offers a variety of spaces for events such as neighborhood movie nights, town meetings, lectures, and educational and cultural programs for all ages. Unfortunately, the building has been closed during the COVID pandemic, but we are hoping to reopen this summer if all goes well. We are using this time to do some much-needed repairs.
The 4C’s is the proud recipient of a 2020 Pennsylvania State RACP grant to restore the church building. The $500,000.00 grant requires a full match, 50% is due on June 23, 2021. The 4C’s plans a fund-raising campaign and will be reaching out to our local community. More information can be obtained on the 4C’s website or Facebook.
The Banner Team: Carl Ballinger, Team Leader, Greg Scott, Designer, Joy Ude, Designer, Roy Thomas, Ladder Team Leader, Aetna Gallagher, Textile Artist and Seamstress, Paul Kuhn, Installer, Patricia Pate, Installer and, Brett Thomas, Installer.