My name is Anna Nash and I have lived in Birmingham, AL my entire life...50 years now :)
Just 1 short year before my birth 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed in 1963. Obviously I have little personal memory of that happening in my city but my entire life I have been well reminded of the horror that happened in our own backyard. It makes me so very sad when I google "Birmingham, AL”. Without fail you will find something on the bombing on the first search page that comes up.
I was thrilled when you announced that you would be coming to Birmingham with your people and this movement for change. Here are a few things I took from your segment on this:
“…the South, and Birmingham in particular, is going to be the region that steps up and brings reconciliation to the country.”
“The South will rise again, and this time it will save the country, not divide the country.”
“I think Birmingham, Alabama is going to be a place that restarts the country. It’s known for all of the bad things that happened in the ’50s. I think Birmingham, Alabama, is going to be known for all of the good things that happen here on out, just like Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is forever going to be known for its good people, and I think Birmingham is going to be next on that list.”
You shared that you felt the nation is reaching a turning point—either begin a revival of faith and respect or continue toward a “cliff” from which there may be no return. The part of the country where you see the most potential for a cultural turnaround is the South.
Like you, I believe that the change we are longing to see in this country is going to start deep inside the hearts of people, and not in D.C. Change won’t even start within the church...even right here in the Bible belt of Alabama until true change takes place in souls within the church! Until we believe that we were created by God to be a part of the bigger story we will NEVER begin to see a difference in our world. People here in Birmingham and beyond have forgotten. We have forgotten what we were made for and why. We have become lazy, comfortable and consuming people who are self absorbed in so many ways. Folks around here are hoping for a new government official, a new pastor, a new plan to bring change. We have forgotten about organic change that comes from grass roots movements. Many here feel invincible...thinking that things happening around the world won't happen here. A “someone else can do it” mentality has saturated so many communities.
Well, just like you, I had an epiphany a few years ago that God was going to do something mighty in the Magic City of Birmingham. Of course, He would choose a city where such a horrible thing had happened to bring light and redemption. All eyes are on us, I know. What a joy that our city of Birmingham would be the picture of redemption, love and change in the US! If we could change anybody can! Nothing would thrill me more than God's favor here on us and through us to a seeking people.
Since I believe we should each play our part (Be the change you want to see!), I have gathered a community here in Birmingham called Beacon People. We are about guiding, connecting and inspiring purpose driven people. There are some pretty amazing grass roots groups here in Birmingham who want to be a part of the Bigger Story! Just thought I'd email you to say that reconciliation is happening here! I am thrilled that you have a prompting about this as well and that you are coming as a Beacon to inspire us. God knows, we can use as much help as we can get! Here are a few organic things that are happening here that I thought you'd like to take a look at before you come in August. I'm walking on sidewalks, sitting in coffee shops, singing in church and meeting with folks all around who are beginning to realize that true change in our culture will have to start from within. People who are willing to do the hard work of making a difference and are living for something greater than themselves are becoming ignited! Here are just a handful of those making sacrifice … all of these are based out of Birmingham! There are more, but for time sake I’m just noting a few that I am personally connected with through Beacon People:
When things start happening in and through our city I want to be able to say that I was a part of it! Redemption is what God is all about and He has redeemed ME, so how could I not desire to make a difference in the lives of others?!?!?
Thanks for listening and I hope some of this was a bit helpful as you are getting to know the audience down here! Grateful for the role you are playing, Glenn. Please let me know if I can do anything on my end here to help.
Time to shine,