To the Point: At the end of this note you will find several resources for growing our understanding of what we can do to show up for Racial Justice. On Sunday, June 28th after worship we will hold a Community Meeting to talk and pray more together. In the meantime, I invite us examine these and other resources, join the ELCA commemoration (https://www.elca.org/emanuelnine) happening on June 17th, and commit ourselves to prayer, action, and more prayer. In the face of many, many resources being circulated, and many organizations and ways to help being shared, we might unintentionally shut down and not do anything. I charge us not to fall into this trap! Pick one thing today or this week; one resource listed below or another you have found. Dive deep, pray hard, and then bring your ideas and thoughts to our gathering on June 28th so that together we may grow stronger for the sake of Christ’s redeeming work in Undoing Racism.
Some Theological (what we understand about God) Background: Racism flies in the face of our Christian understanding of God’s creative and redeeming work. We hear in Genesis that God created humanity in God’s image and “saw that it was good.” We do not hear that those with a certain skin color were created in God’s image, but that the entirety of humanity was created in God’s image – and that it was good. Further, Jesus came into this world that the world might be redeemed by grace, and though he has often been portrayed in western art as white, Jesus likely had olive or even brown skin as many people still living in Palestine do today. And Jesus poured his life blood out on the cross so that sins of the world – sins like racism – might not be the final story. And so that as humanity is redeemed by grace we might wake up and shrug off the mantle of this and all sin so as to rise up a resurrected people.
God’s Holy Calling to Redeemer, New Paltz and the World: We, the body of Christ at Redeemer, New Paltz, cannot be complacent or remain silent in the midst of the tragedies of continued racism in our country and world. We identified the focus area of Equality/Justice several years ago now, and though we may not know exactly what to do, or how best to serve God in this work of undoing racism, we need to pray and then act, pray again, and then act again; learning from what goes well and our mistakes, yet all the while letting God through the power of the Holy Spirit re-commit us to the this justice endeavor.
Resources to Check Out
- (60 minutes) Our first resource is found on Facebook and is entitled, "Showing Up for Racial Justice: White People's work to End Racism," a webinar organized and moderated by an organization called "Surge”. This webinar can be replayed at: https://www.facebook.com/watchparty/271767210611097/
- (19 Minutes) Another resource is this great sermon from the African American presiding bishop the Episcopal Church
- (5 minutes) And, for further inspiration, this song with slideshow was created by a local choral group by the name of Ars Choralis as part of their ongoing efforts to shine a light in the darkness of the world