Category Archives: Antiracism

Theological Declaration on Christian Faith and White Supremacy

It is past time to join the chorus of many inside and outside of the church crying out in the face of racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and any form of human hierarchy—conscious or unconscious—that diminishes the inherent dignity of those whom God created. We can no longer be silent. We cannot and will not retreat. We believe the good news of Jesus Christ is freedom to those held captive by bigotry, hatred and fear; liberating oppressed and oppressor alike.

2017-09-10 (2)A wide array of Christian faith leaders from across the United States have issued a Theological Declaration on Christian Faith and White Supremacy. This statement calls  for a return to the liberating work of the Gospel and a rejection of racism and colonization and suggests action steps: listen, lament, repent, and re-imagine.

In the face of white privilege, white normalcy, white supremacy, and white nationalism, the Declaration offers an alternative vision, rooted in faith in Jesus Christ. The Declaration notes that:

The churc\\\h has always stumbled toward the promise of scripture. At times it has done well. Other times it has suffered under the weight of white nationalism.

The crafters of the Declaration write and act in the hope that followers of Jesus will reject hatred and violence and work to disrupt racism and work to renew both the Church and our society.

Check out the Declaration. As it states, if you hear God’s Spirit speaking, consider signing the Declaration and joining in the suggested actions and work. If you do not, pay no further attention.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events

An act of commitment

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Staff and friends of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathered this morning at the Presbyterian Center for a chapel service in response to racism and white supremacy in Charlottesville and other places. (An archived live stream of the service is available.)

My colleague and friend, José Luis Casal, director of World Mission, helped celebrate communion.

During the Words of Institution, José Luis observed that, “The bodies of all who have been victims of injustice, the victims of rejection, the victims of violence…are the body of Jesus Christ.”

He reminded us that to come to the table and to partake of the bread and the cup is to commit ourselves personally to stand on the side of love with Jesus and to work against racism, white supremacy, every form of systemic oppression, violence and all that harms any of God’s precious children.

Silently, I shouted “Amen” as loudly as I could.

And I wondered—when the Presbyterian Center or any church or worshipping community gathers to celebrate communion, isn’t that organization making a similar statement? The act of gathering at Christ’s table is, for the community as well, a radical act of commitment to Jesus and to justice, to love and to grace.

May it be so. Amen.

See you along the Trail.

Thanks to my friend and colleague Marissa Galván who posted some of José Luis’s word and inspired me to write this post. The image appeared on the cover of the worship bulletin this morning. View the bulletin for the service

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Worship

Carolyn Doggett, Presente!

Sad news arrived today in the Forest Hill Church (Presbyterian) newsletter:

The office learned that Carolyn Doggett, former member, Deacon and Elder, died on July 21, 2017. 

The Lake Erie Girl Scout Council employed Carolyn. But her true passion lay in working for racial justice. Carolyn knew herself to be a beloved child of God. As such, she understood that all people are precious to God and all people should be treated accordingly.

Carolyn played a key role in the work to disrupt institutional racism and seek racial equity in the Presbytery of the Western Reserve. She challenged the status quo with a fierce, gentle passion.

A dignified, graceful, persistent, disruptive resistor, Carolyn taught me much and touched my soul.

I give thanks for her life and faith and love and witness. I give thanks that she was my co-worker, colleague, and friend. I pray for all who grieve at her death.

In the Communion of Saints, Carolyn goes with us in the struggle for justice and the march for peace.

Thanks be to God for Carolyn Doggett!

Presente!

See you along the Trail.

P.S. – I wish I had a photo to share. Not for myself, Carolyn is forever present in my mind’s eye and in my heart, but for you who did not know her.

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Intercultural Ministry – a review

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Grace Ji-Sun Kim and I led a workshop on Disrupting Racism: Building the Intercultural Community at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Big Tent Conference. Her books can serve as helpful resources for congregations and communities in their efforts to become the communities God intends. Here’s a brief review I wrote of her most recent book, Intercultural Ministry: Hope in a Changing Worldon Amazon.

Thanks to Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Jann Aldredge-Clanton for this timely and important book. They have assembled and curated the work of a number of scholars and pastors to provide a vision of intercultural ministry as well as ideas, tools, and practices for creating and sustaining that ministry. In a world that tells us we should live separation, Intercultural Ministry provides an alternative–that we can live together. Kim, Aldredge-Clanton and their authors provides hope. And community is built on hope.

See you along the Trail.

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Big Tent 2017: Race, Reconciliation, Reformation — Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Hope to see you at the Big Tent where I will be working with my friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim.

 

I look forwarding to participating at the Big Tent, held at Washington University, St. Louis, July 6 -8th, 2017. I will be co-leading a Workshop with Rev. Mark Koenig, “Disrupting Racism: Building the Intercultural Community”

via Big Tent 2017: Race, Reconciliation, Reformation — Grace Ji-Sun Kim

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National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls

The issue, from the National Congress of American Indians:

On some reservations American Indian and Alaska Native women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average; and

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the third leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women between 10 and 24 years of age and the fifth leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native women between 25 and 34 years of age.

The witness, from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

May 5th as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

A congressional resolution to designate May 5th as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls has been introduced. The resolution was drafted in memory of Hanna Harris (Northern Cheyenne) who was murdered July, 2013. The resolution was first introduced in April 2016 on the same day that RoyLynn Rides Horse (Crow) passed away after having been beaten, burned, and left in a field to die. Nearly 200 tribal, national, and state organizations supported this resolution.
Will you?

Ideas on how to participate and raise awareness:
1)    Wear RED on May 5th and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #NationalDayofAwareness #MMNWG or #MMIW
2)    Host a community event in your community on May 5th
3)    Host a prayer circle or candlelight vigil on May 5th
4)    Post a list of names of sisters missing or murdered from your community,
5)    Create a living memorial
6)    Register to participate in the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center webinar: Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Click here to register.

18278258_10155128289501063_2581348385963562143_o#REDdress #MMIW #MMNAWG #gonebutnotforgotten

A shout out to the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, whose post caught my attention.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Easter 2017

lenten-reflections-on-the-confession-of-belhar“Brokenness, disunity, and hatred are evident all over the planet. The world needs the witness Belhar calls the church to live out in the world. The church’s primary responsibility is to love God so fully that God’s saving presence shines through her like light in the midst of darkness. The church then becomes a beacon of hope, a lighthouse on the shore of a storm-tossed sea. By confessing, internalizing, and living out the principles of Belhar in her own experience, the church positions herself to become what Henri Nouwen calls, ‘a wounded healer.'”
Mark Lomax
Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar

Christ is risen! Christ’s proclamation that God loves us and Christ’s call to love God and one another provide words of hope in this broken and fearful world.

This Lenten season have used a new resource to explore the Belhar Confession: Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar, edited by Kerri N. Allen and Donald K. McKim. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in which I serve as a teaching elder (pastor), added the Confession of Belhar to our Book of Confessions in 2016. This confession came from the Dutch Reformed Mission Church during its historic struggle against apartheid in South Africa. I am grateful to Kerri and Donald and all the authors.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Easter, Lent, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)