In response to one of the greatest moral challenges of our time, a group of leaders in our church committed to study, discuss, pray, and seek God’s guidance on how we might respond to questions raised about racial equity and justice. We read books, watched videos, and discussed our personal experiences related to race and discovered how much we have to learn.
Session Proposal Four members of our group addressed Session proposing we make racial and social justice a two-year, strategic goal of our church, with the following threefold emphasis:
Essential Components Our approach will be biblical and invitational. Education is essential. We have learned that it takes a shared vocabulary in order to carry on a meaningful and productive conversation about racial concerns. Relationship building is necessary to understand the experiences of others whose lives may be different than our own. Community participation is required for racial equality and justice to be advanced throughout our immediate community—in education, health care, leadership representation, housing, policing, and income disparities.
Pastor’s Challenge I, Dale, am proud that we have made this commitment as a congregation. But a commitment is only as good as our follow through. I am concerned that our efforts will be taken up by a concentrated few rather than by all of us. Of course, we come to this subject from different points of view, with different senses of urgency, and our approach can vary from individual to individual. But it is important we take this journey together and share what we learn as a whole church. Therefore, as your pastor, I ask of you to take one step—at least one—to learn more and to grow in your understanding of racial and social justice. If, among the educational opportunities presented, you don’t see an avenue to participate, ask one of our team members and we will help you find one or create one. Please, choose at least one and let’s open our hearts and minds to what Jesus might have us do.
Included in Session’s motion was the formation of an Anti-Racism and Social Justice Team to provide leadership and coordination of this goal to be led by elder Laurel Quast and team members: Keedra Carroll, Penny Cleary, Dale Flowers, Michelle Huntley, Kathy Karlen, Rich Mason, Paul Palmatier, Peter Schell, Allie Shoulders, Tim Stafford, Emily Stockert, Jan Thomas, Mark Thomas, Paula Umino, and Lesley Van Dordrecht.
A New York Times Notable Book, Loving Day is a “frequently hilarious, surprisingly moving story about blacks and whites, fathers and daughters, the living and the dead, [that] celebrates the wonders of opposites bound in love.” Loving Day is a candid, satirical look at complex family relationships and racial identity set in a decaying, potentially haunted mansion (we timed this reading just right for Halloween!) Please note that this book contains subject matter that some readers may be sensitive to including language, drug use, supernatural phenomena, and adult situations. Sign up here.
Our spotlight on contemporary Black authors continues as we read and discuss Loving Day by Mat Johnson.
Questions or Comments?
out on a dangerous mission to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
With help from a seasoned colleague, the two detectives go undercover to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its rhetoric in order to appeal to the mainstream. Participants view the movie ahead of time at their convenience and join together via zoom to discuss the movie.
Link to the Resource
Friday, November 13 at 7:00 PM
Facilitated by Allie Shoulders, Jan Thomas, and Lesley Van Dordrecht
A Spike Lee film that tells the story of the first African-American deterctive to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who sets
Tuesdays at 4-5pm on Zoom, beginning November 10, running 5 weeks.
If you are wondering how you might get involved, or why this is important for a Christ follower, you are warmly invited to join us for this five week opportunity. Topics will include: What Does It Mean to be Non-Racist? Anti-Racist? What is the history of racism in America? How did we get here? What is a Christian response? We will also pray and share together about our learning. Lesley Van Dordrecht, Jan Thomas and Allie Shoulders will host the group. Click here sign up or ask questions.