Week of May 31-June 6
A Humble Resistance
Listening, Learning, and Unlearning
I am physically perched on the border between the US and Canada. Emotionally, I have crossed over this week. Bear with me. I do not even know how to begin this post, as each hour I absorb a new blow from the latest piece of shocking news.
The picture of Trump in Washington, D.C., holding a copy of the Bible while standing in front of St. John’s Church. What fails to make it into the picture is his walk from the White House to the church. To clear the way for the President, law enforcement fired tear gas and flash bangs into the crowd gathering peacefullly amid George Floyd protests. It was wrong. An abuse of power. And I feel the wrongness of that in every fibre of my being.
The image of a young man, standing still near protestors, alone on a grassy slope in Austin, Texas. One minute he’s standing; the next, he crumples to the ground. He was shot in the face by the police with bean bag ammunition. He is 16 year old, and his name is Brad Levi Ayala. He required a seven-hour surgery and skin grafts to restore his face. It was wrong. I feel the wrongness of that in every fiber of my being.
This week has been like that. Image after image, story after story of violence against black people. However, the truth is, these stories have been going on for 400 years. It has always been wrong. A wrongness that black people have felt in every fibre of their beings for centuries. It is my privilege as a white person that keeps me from knowing the extent of these stories and the depth of their pain.
On Pentecost Sunday, I shared how in the Genesis account, God BREATHED life into Adam. One week ago, we witnessed police STEAL the breathe of life from George Floyd. That was a crime against Mr. Floyd, the black community, and their Creator. In reponse, the black community has challenged those of us living daily with white privilege to educate ourselves. As Ibram X.Kendi wrote, “We are either being racist or anti-racist.” Savala Trepczynski wrote this in an article for Time:
“I see signs of hope amid the horror – I see more white people publicly mourning the recent losses of black and brown life, and some progressive white people I know have committed to explore their role in white supremacy… I myself feel brave enough to speak, here and now, despite how speaking out has hurt me in the past… I fear, though, that the outcome is predictable: white silence, and black pain, perhaps forever, often rooted in good white people’s blindness to how they are (unwitting) agents of white supremacy, too. Until a critical mass of white people begin and continue the work of antiracism with their own lives, then uprisings and protests will function more as expressions of black and brown pain than as inflection points in the culture.”
The attention of the news media will move on. The protests will die down. Life will get busy, and once again, we’ll settle into the blindness, unless we let this moment shake us awake. Our Christian history has been divided – we are sometimes the source of oppression, at other times we are on the forefront of social movements. Today, it is both. The Spirit calls us to wade into the waters and choose: fulfilling our baptismal vows by following Christ as he stands with those on the margins of power.
One place to start: Elizabeth’s Bookshop and Writing Center, a on-line literary centre designed to amplify and celebrate marginalized voices. A portion of all sales go to The Loveland Foundation, which makes mental healthcare accessible for black women and girls.
Southpoint This Summer
We would love your feedback as we plan towards what church will look like for us this summer.
We have created a SHORT survey, with only 4 questions.
Would you take 2 minutes to let us know what you are thinking and hoping?
7 Jun – Zooming at 10:00 am
Gen 1:26-28; 2:15,16
14 Jun – Zooming at 10:00 am
Knowing and Being Known
21 Jun – Zooming at 10:00 am
28 Jun – ALL OUT
Fellowship of the Rings
Men’s virtually bad movie night
Men’s virtual morning coffee
Men: Contact Jason
June 24, 7:30 pm
Read the book and join in:
Zoom link from Katie
Book: American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins
If you have a confidential prayer need, please contact John.
If you’re needing to talk or to pray, please call Anne (778-878-4352).