In light of recent events in the community and nation, it’s important for us as followers of Christ to talk honestly and truth- fully about race, racist ideologies, and systemic racism in our institutions (including the church). White supremacist rallies,
Black Lives Matter protests, race baiting, racist epithets, police bru- tality, white fragility, white privilege—are just some of the topicsand words we’re hearing, reading, talking about these days. To talk about race itself—to examine the ways it shapes our society, visibly and invisibly, consciously and unconsciously—can feel frightening and overwhelming, and maybe even dangerous. Until we talk and examine our biases (which we all have) there’s little room for hope of change.
As followers of Christ we should be eager to engage in conversa- tions where truth is spoken in love, that bear witness to our experience, conversations that facilitate mutual understanding, healing, and change within us and within our communities. These are holy conversations; all of this is holy work.
Exploring the Book: So You Want to Talk About Race
To help us in this work, our Dismantling Racism Group has selected a book for us to explore as a congregation this summer: Ijeoma Oluo’s, So You Want to Talk About Race. If you’re not familiar with this important text, an overview and list of reviews may be found here: www.indiebound. org/book/9781580058827. We made a bulk order through Wisdom Book Center, a black-owned bookstore located in Woodlawn. Cost: $17. We encourage you to support this local bookseller. But however you obtain your own copy, please join the discussion.
Join the Conversation: In July and August
We will host four daytime and four evenings conversations (via Zoom) throughout July and August. On Wednesdays (July 15, 29 and August 12, 26) from 10:30 a.m. to noon, facilitated by me, and Thursdays (July 16, 30 and August 13, 26) from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., facilitated by Jeff Bolognese.
We have also learned that parents and teachers at Hillcrest Elementary School in Catonsville will also be reading this text, and they’ve opened up their study to the wider community.
The Zoom invitation/links will be sent out in early July. Consider being part of the conversation.