Quiet (Educational) Protest: Sunday Morning (6/16), 10:00 AM

Walnut Street Sign, June 2013
Walnut Street Sign, June 2013

I’m thinking about 710 and 712 Walnut Street and the impending demolition of the two ninety-year-old buildings. Nearly two hundred fifty people have signed a petition asking that it be stopped. If you haven’t done so already, you can do so here:


But those of us who wish to see this destruction of downtown stopped, really need to gain the support of the members of that congregation. I’m wondering if they even know what is being planned by their leaders. It has been established that St. John’s has the legal right to do this, but perhaps they could be convinced to change course given that their neighbors and neighborhood are opposed, given that old buildings make downtown charming and parking lots do not and given that their desire to make bridges with people around them will be damaged for a generation by this action.

So, how to gain that support or educate the congregation to the fact that this move is opposed by many and will taint their church in those people’s view? One obvious suggestion is a gentle educational activity as they arrive at church tomorrow. The primary service begins at 10:30, so being in place by 10:00 would be important.

Now if this were to happen,

  • I would also think signs like the one in the photograph would be useful,
  • that anyone showing up in an educational capacity should remain on the public sidewalk across from the church,
  • that no one should be accosted and
  • that anger or attacks will not change hearts.
  • So, to educate and encourage to change, yes,
  • to scream angrily and call names, no.

If you agree, perhaps you could make a sign and arrive at 10:00. You might even want to repost this notice and/or contact people you feel might be supportive. It’s one thing to make comments on a blog, but are you willing to put your feet in motion for the cause?

Just sayin’.


Walnut Street Sign, Knoxville, June 2013
Walnut Street Sign, Knoxville, June 2013