To some extent we came full circle in our last session. Here are some of the questions we asked in the first session:
What does it mean to say that racism is a structure?
Is it hard to talk about race? Why or why not?
For personal reflection: Think about a time when you were challenged to look at racism. How did you feel? How did you respond? What insights did you gain? If you have not been challenged, what does that say about how whiteness shapes your experience?
And those are some of the same questions that came up this week.
The issues of structural racism, the persistence of inequity, the trauma experienced by people of color, and the sometimes frightening urgency of the need for change and for justice - and all of this in the midst of pandemic - it is understandable that we are disquieted and discomforted and at a loss for solutions.
On Monday night August 31, at 7 we will meet to talk about what some next steps might be. John Lewis mentioned the concept of the beloved community, a concept described by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as follows:
Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.
We will take a look at the United Methodist - General Council on Race and Reconciliation’s list of 25 Traits of The Beloved Community. Here’s the link:
There are many many resources on the www.gcorr.org website concerning Race and Reconciliation including online classes, videos, print resources, and more. This is another place where we can go to learn more about where we are, who we are, and how United Methodists are responding. I encourage you to browse.
We will also consider the significant Walker Chapel areas of focus as a framework for the consideration of future efforts and how God might manifest God’s leading at Walker Chapel.
And finally - if these problems were simple, they would already be fixed. The issues we face are complex, long-standing, uncomfortable, and urgent. We can’t do everything, but we all can do something - individually and as a church. The question now is what do we need to do?
This is exciting and necessary work. Please continue to think, to learn, to pray as we seek to discern God’s leading. If you would like to reflect on, in writing, where we are in our conversations, we welcome your feedback here.
We look forward to seeing you again on Sunday (or tomorrow at the food drive from 1-3pm) for Sunday's Cool! at 10am and worship at 10:30am on Facebook Live!
Dawn & Derek
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