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June 3, 2020 at 12:49 pm #4350officeKeymaster
Noticings…June 3, 2020
This is uncomfortable to write and talk about. But we must. We cannot avoid it. We’d prefer to ignore it, because it’s so easy to do so. In fact, ignoring it takes no effort whatsoever because what we’re talking about is a lens through which most of us, including me, have been raised to see the world through. And because of that it’s second nature to us, and in order to change it we actually have to go against our deeply embedded sense of what ‘normal’ is and work hard to change. I’m speaking, of course, about racism. Please don’t stop reading just because it is such an ugly and hateful word. And please don’t think you’re exempt. If you are a white person living in Canada you are part of a system and culture that has quietly elevated your way in the world at the expense of others. You cannot avoid benefiting from the system. It just is. You didn’t ask for it, nor did you likely do much to make it worse, but neither did you likely confront it and name the injustices that are propping it up. Neither did I.
This is not about guilt. It’s about awareness, and conviction – to become aware of the mostly invisible system that quietly makes whiteness ‘normative’ and anything else ‘other’ (and therefore supposedly ‘lesser’), and to become convicted that once awakened to the depth of the problem never to ignore it or shrug it away, but to confront it and strive to change it. The news has finally shifted from pandemic panic (not that Covid-19 has been defeated, it hasn’t, and there is much challenge yet to come). Lately the news is all about the killing of an unarmed, innocent black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police, and the protesting and rioting that have come after. The sad truth is such things happen whether they’re caught on camera and make the news or not. And they happen with more frequency than any of us would dare imagine. And yes, even in Canada. We are not immune.
I have been challenged through conversations with colleagues who are persons of colour that saying racism is bad is a necessary and valid thing to do – but it is not enough. Their challenge is for us to be actively and intentionally anti-racist, in ourselves, and in our structures. It’s not unlike our reasons for becoming an Affirming congregation. It’s not enough to just be welcoming and accepting – we need to be public, intentional, and explicit about our inclusiveness. So too with our anti-racism stance. Rewiring ourselves with a new lens is hard work. And it can be painful – like reading this has been for some who may be angry or frustrated with me for even bringing it up. So be it. Below is an emotional reflection I wrote Sunday night after watching the news and feeling overwhelmed. I hope it helps to raise awareness and convict us into action. I don’t know what that might look like, but I’m committed to finding out.
I am not ‘a racist’.
And yet, I know I am ‘racist’.
I would not, could not be overtly racist.
But that is not the issue.
The issue, the challenge, the brokenness is that I am ‘racist’ because it is so easy for me to obliviously live my privilege, because it feels ‘normal’.
Well, normal needs to be challenged.
I am ashamed that it takes filmed, egregious, perpetrated violence against persons of colour to get our ‘privileged’ attention.
But that’s where we are. And we cannot un-see this.
(Even though we’ve seen it far, far too often.)
Some minister colleagues have called for folks like me to stand up, and speak out.
Here I stand.
And here I speak.
I stand for racial equality.
And I hope for a better future.
It will only happen if I, and those who look like me (white people), do the hard work of breaking down our privilege and seeing the depth of the injustice we’ve lived for so long.
I am committed to doing that hard work.
I acknowledge that it will be painful to realize how deep seated these things are.
So be it.
I can’t fix things, but I can be part of the conversation toward a just future.
I so commit.
Hymn Sing Sunday ~ June 28th
We’ll still do Hymn Sing Sunday on June 28th as is our tradition! Suggestions/requests can be made in our private FaceBook group or via email.Hymns will be randomly selected and put into the bulletin. Rev. Larry will not look at the selections until Zeljka starts to play them. Send your requests by June 24th! ~ Stacey
Ways To Keep ConnectedThe Porch Online ~ Mondays @ 10:30 AM – This weekly gathering looks at the upcoming Sunday’s readings and will give participants a chance to ask questions and learn more background about the texts and get thinking about what they might hear the following Sunday. Join The Porch via Zoom.
Worship Wednesday ~ Wednesdays @ 7:15 PM – Join us for Worship Wednesday on YouTube. 15 minutes of music and prayer. All are invited!Coffee and Conversation ~ Thursdays @ 9:30 AM – Join us for coffee and conversation, each Thursday at 9:30 am. Social, drop in, no agenda. We will gather via Zoom.
Online Worship ~ Sundays @ 10:30 AM
Rev. Larry will lead worship on Sunday mornings at our usual 10:30 am time, with music support, and with minimal tech support to allow for streaming. All previous Sunday worship services are available on-demand, and you can watch any time!Shalom,
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