Mercy Junction is a ministry of the Presbytery of East Tennessee. As a new worshiping community devoted to social justice work, Mercy Junction began operating the Justice and Peace Center at St. Andrews in January 2015. Mercy Junction is a radical ministry devoted to the equality of all people and justice for all of creation. While we are a ministry of the Presbytery of East Tennessee, we practice radical hospitality and welcome people of all faiths and people who are non-religious as full participants in the life of the Justice and Peace Center.
The statement of purpose written by the Mercy Junction community is: "We are a community of faith, rooted in justice and peacemaking, guided by the Holy Spirit to express God's unbiased love for all of creation by providing a Christian framework for social righteousness in the Southeast."
Mercy Junction is faith, action and community. We consider our activism to be part of our worship, along with two regularly scheduled faith circles -- one interfaith and one Christian -- each week. We also have a daily interfaith reflection at 5 pm as part of Hospitality Hours. Our community includes the guests to whom we extend hospitality, activists, artists and people of faith who make up the Justice and Peace Center's building partners, along with our supporters in the Fellowship of Holy Heretics. The fellowship is a community of rebels, malcontents, radicals and other cool people who support the center.
The 40,000-square-foot, century-old church that houses the Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center at St. Andrews is listed on the National Historic Registry.
Mercy Junction aims to create "the world as it should be" within the walls of the center, and fight for that same world outside our walls. Seeking to follow in the tradition of the peace churches, we are one of seven "peace communities" recognized and supported by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. As part of our commitment to non-violence we have established the center as a "safe space" and ask that no weapons -- no matters in whose hands they may be placed -- be brought into the center. We also ask that uniforms and badges not be worn into this building that has been established as a house of peace and safety for all of God's children.
On the first floor of
the building are the Mercy Junction offices, as well as the sanctuary
that is open as for Hospitality Hours for anyone who feels the need for a quiet
and safe place to sleep, pray, meditate, read a book or just sit in silence. Also on
the first floor is the center's gift store, called the Mercy Shop. The Mercy Shop is a vital revenue stream for the center and supports other
organizations, ministries and individual
artists and craftspeople. Visitors will find fair trade gift items, social justice and spirituality-based books, arts and crafts items. A social justice library is also part of the first floor.
building houses Mercy Junction's building partners and "shared spaces."
Shared spaces are larger open areas (and include a theater, conference
room, lounge and more) where building partners, allies and community
groups can hold gatherings, events, performances and meetings. For more
information about becoming a building partner or reserving spaces for
your events, click here.
aim for the Justice and Peace Center to become an institutionalized
beacon of social righteousness in the South, while creating a lasting
legacy of what the Presbytery of East Tennessee created during a time of
transition for the denomination.