Talking about Race

Once again, the divisions and disparity along lines of race have been clearly revealed. There is a different quality to the response this time. I am encouraged by that and also cautious. I am also challenged to look deep within to wrestle with the prejudice I carry and to see how I have participated and benefited from systems that have excluded others because of their race. It is hard work.

At St. James, we are launching a discussion series about racism and how we can faithfully respond. We have 3 sessions scheduled on Zoom on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 4:00 PM through August.

On June 24, I will lead a discussion of a video that can be found on YouTube. It is an interview with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist. Click on the title and please watch the video before the discussion.

On July 22, Brian Austin will lead a conversation about the book Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson.

On August 26, Margaret Bickley will lead us in a discussion of I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown.

You must register to be part of these Zoom meetings. Click here to register. This registration will get you signed up for all the meetings, even if you can’t make them all. You will receive a link and password once registered.

Stay tuned. I will post a list of other resources as well. Speaking of which, there are lots of resources being named and held up right now. It can be overwhelming. I am holding to these truths as I journey in this. 1. Racism is real and I am part of it. 2. My faith in God gives me hope that we can go through hard things and be transformed. 3. I can learn and grow and that takes time. 4. I will do and say things wrong. 5. Christ is with us.

I hold you all in my prayers during this time of revelation and challenge. I am excited to see how God is working to open hearts and minds.

Be safe. Be Kind. Be awake.


Fr. John Mark

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