We have always been a confessing people, people who understand the necessity of confessing our sin and the way that our sin-sick souls infect the institutions we build, and people who confess our faith in the power of God to create, redeem and heal. We believe in the necessity of reformation and the promise that the church we love is always being reformed by God.
We believe that reformation should also be true of the institutions created in service of our communities and nation. With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we are searching our hearts, once again, with the collective realization that racism has insidiously imbedded itself in the very institutions that were created to serve, protect and promote life.
Many of you have asked what comes next. We are searching for ways to move forward, to be useful, to restore justice and promote peace. This work will take time, and it will take inner work before and during the work we commit to do in the world. We have to stay curious, to listen with humility and prepare our hearts for change. Toward that end, I join the Mission, Peace & Justice committee in challenging us to take the 21-Day Race Equity Challenge put together by Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. They have compiled a variety of readings, videos and thought-provoking questions for daily reflection, and they have invited others to participate. We have accepted this challenge, and we hope you will too. Our goal is for us to begin together on (or around) Monday, June 8th and complete the 21-Day Challenge before Sunday, June 28th. We will then dedicate the Sunday school hour on Sunday, June 28th to reflection and conversation about our next steps.
To get started you need to do only two things –
- Sign-up with West Raleigh. You can join a small group for discussion as well as offer to be a small group facilitator.
- Get started with resources provided by Myers Park.
Disciples of Jesus Christ, these are difficult and emotional times for everyone. There is compounded grief that we have not been able to tend in the ways we often do by being together. Anger, fear, sadness and helplessness stand next to the inspiration and hope that is also rising up among us. This is a marathon – it is a marathon that we must run, and we must run it together; yet, we also must honor where we are on this journey and give one another space and time to tend to the fires that are burning within us. If you are feeling particularly vulnerable or depressed and need to talk, please call me, call someone you trust, reach out, and know that you are love and beloved. We will get through this – together. It will take time and mutual forbearance and a Spirit stronger than any of us, but God will see us through.
I miss seeing you, West Raleigh. I miss having these hard conversations together, in the same room. I miss hearing our voices join in confession, prayer and praise; but, I am confident that there is nothing, nothing in all of creation that can separate us from the love made known in Christ Jesus our Lord. May that real, embodied love give us the courage to keep on, keeping on.
“See” you in church,