SSUMC is supporting all ministry areas in revitalizing and recommitting to our work of anti-racism. We are a congregation of people in different places on our anti-racism walks. We embrace our multi-racial community with awareness of the complexity it brings to doing this work well. We honor the suffering and stories and need to rest of the people of color in our community. We call white folks to grow and take risks for the work of racial justice. We name that the liberation of all of God’s beloved is wrapped up together. We confess and repent in worship. We receive prophetic preaching that seeks to both comfort and afflict. And we begin again.
Our racial justice group continues to meet regularly to discuss and support education, advocacy, and action work surrounding racial justice in our local community, state, and nation. Small groups and all-church study opportunities are encouraged to center anti-racism conversations and voices and theologians of color in their studies. Family ministry work continues to resource parents in supporting conversations about race with their children. Our youth are reading Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You (Reynolds and Kendi) in a summer book group.
We protest. We lament. We listen. We follow black leaders. We make mistakes. We learn.
Two study groups with nearly 20 families participating are underway reading, wrestling with, and discussing how parents raising white kids can support their children in developing a healthy relationship to whiteness. We are seeking and sharing wisdom, continuing to confront the racism in ourselves, and committing to model the agency and power white people have to interrupt racism.
We’ll host August book club groups to discuss Ta-nehisi Coats’ memoir Between the World and Me as a way to invite even more people into these conversations. This work is more than reading and talking, but it surely requires reading and talking. And so this is part of where we start.
As with so many things, we pray that the Spirit does not leave us there.