We are invited to do the hard work of examine our hearts and minds for the sins of racism.

It’s hard work, but it is very good work.

We will be sharing various resources to help us engage in the work of self-reflection around racism so we might be healed ourselves and go out to help heal the world. A full list of resources is available here: http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES

Sunday, May 31st

{View the message here: http://cwames.org/worship/digital}

During the message today, I mention the graphic below, which shows the depth and breadth of racism as our POC siblings experience it. I know that for many of us this list seems extensive and maybe there are somethings on here that you would challenge. I invite you today if you find something on here that you would challenge, to sit with that, to ask yourself why you would challenge it, what about it makes you uncomfortable, what interest do you have in challenging that thing, how have you benefited from that type of racism. This is a conversation between yourself and God, where we can let go of our defensiveness, sense God’s deep love for all God’s children and open ourselves up to transformation.

Maybe you wouldn’t challenge any of this, but maybe you recognize in yourself times in your life (even now) where you participated in some type of racism. If you’re like me, it’s embarrassing, it feels shameful, you don’t want to admit it. So I invite you today to repent of it, I invite you to repent and believe the good news that you can be forgiven and that you can be transformed so that you can help transform the world. If you’re feeling extra convicted and courageous, I invite you to publicly repent, likely on social media and make a commitment to the journey of becoming anti-racist.

Because we do not do this alone, because God is in the business of transformation and that includes our racism, let’s also remind ourselves to invite and welcome God into the process because we cannot do this by our strength alone.

God of justice. God who always sides with the oppressed. We are anxious, we are afraid, we are overwhelmed. We know that something has to change, that things cannot go on like this. That we cannot go on like this. Guide us, encourage us, break us open to be transformed by your spirit. Be with us as we do the hard thing of addressing the racism that lives in our hearts. Forgive us, transform us, empower us. We give you thanks for those who are showing us the way, who are giving us grace to grow and who are messengers of your reign. Amen.

(click on image for link to the conscious kid)

Monday, June 1st

Today you’re invited to take an inventory. To set aside some time to think intentionally about what you are taking in that may or may not aid in your work to fight against racism.

This graphic from @ohhappydani gives 6 areas to consider. Journal about these areas, reflect on why or why not these are inclusive, which areas need work in your life and 1 thing you might do about it.

“Let me not look away, O God, from any truth I should see. Even if it is difficult, let me face the reality in which I live. I do not want to live inside a cosseted dream, imagining I am the one who is always right, or believing only what I want to hear. Help me to see the world through other eyes, to listen to voices distant and different, to educate myself to the feelings of those with whom I think I have nothing in common. Break the shell of my indifference. Draw me out of my prejudices and show me your wide variety. Let me not look away.” -Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw

Tuesday, June 2nd

Reading gives us the opportunity to hear the voices of others in our own minds. There is no shortage of work we need to do in educating ourselves on the experience of others, especially BIPOC. Can you today, find something to read, a voice of someone who experiences racism to put into your head. Read and do your best to truly listen to these voice and allow them to shape your heart and mind.

You can see this stack of suggested books and can find them online, in digital and audio formats.

“The concern which I lay bare before God today is.
My concern for the life of the world in these troubled times.
I confess my own inner confusion as I look out upon the world.
There is food for all – many are hungry.
There are clothes enough for all – many are in rags.
There is room enough for all – many are crowded.
There are none who want war – preparations for conflict abound.
I confess my own share in the ills of the times. I have shirked my own responsibilities as a citizen. I have not been wise in casting my ballot. I have left to others a real interest in making a public opinion worthy of democracy. I have been concerned about my own little job, my own little security, my own shelter, my own bread. I have not really cared about jobs for others, security for others, shelter for others, bread for others.
I have not worked for peace; I want peace, but I have voted and worked for war. I have silenced my own voice that it may not be heard on the side of any cause, however right, if it meant running risks or damaging my own little reputation.
Let Thy light burn in me that I may, from this moment on, take effective steps within my own powers, to live up to the light and courageously to pay for the kind of world I so deeply desire.”
Howard Thurman

 

Wednesday, June 3rd

Movies have the power to open us up to new experiences and insight. Yesterday the movie “Just Mercy” was released to watch for free during the month of June to help people continue to engage in the work of fighting racism. Tonight (or soon) take advantage of this free film (justmercyfilm.com) and then commit to spending 20 minutes in prayer and reflection.

And now a prayer adapted from enfleshed:

“Spirit of Truth,

all that has shaped me –

my experiences of joy and pain, both

are held in your embrace with care.

I take comfort that you know what is in my heart.

You meet me in my intentions, and nurture what is good.

You take delight in my desire to be generous and kind…

When the limitations of my knowledge and experience

inevitably mean I do wrong even when I strive to do right –

using words that sting or pronouns that misgender,

unknowingly living in complicity with systems that hurt my neighbors,

or otherwise furthering power dynamics that demean –

when others care enough to hold me accountable and believe I can do better,

may I be less interested in defending myself

and more in learning a new lesson of love.

May I be most concerned with the impact of my actions on others –

listening, reflecting, and changing course.

May I not linger too long in wallowing or guilt,

nor expect those I harm to tend my discomfort.

Guide my discernment in what I need to hold or let go.

If I feel insecure, may I remember what is true:

We all mess up.

A lot.

Correction is an act of love.

Evil has taught us so many lies we must unlearn.

We need each other – for this work of collective liberation.

At each day’s end, may I rest in the knowledge that I am loved,

I am valuable,

and my persistence in showing-up to the needs of the world with humility,

courage, and conviction will be made fruitful in you. Amen.”

Thursday, June 4th

How much time can you dedicate to becoming anti-racist? Time is one of the resources we all have that we should be investing. While the resources can be overwhelming, this plan (from Bryanna Wallace and Autumn Gupta) gives you the option to choose 10, 25 or 45 minutes a day and then provides you a color-coded schedule to follow, helping you navigate these resources. Make a specific time commitment today for the rest of June and follow along here: http://ow.ly/mVME50zXjdh

a prayer adapted from Pax Christi:

“Dear God, in our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities – those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see our siblings in the faces of those divided by racial categories.

Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed Black, Indigenous and People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world.

Heal your family God, and make us one with you, in union with our Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit.

Amen.”

Friday, June 5th

Looking for a way to engage? We are starting two groups this month.

Anti-Racism Book Club

Looking for a way to dismantle your white privilege? Looking for a community to learn, grow, challenge and explore with? We are not experts, but we are committed to doing better, to working harder, reading and listening. This group will meet bi-weekly on Wednesdays, at 8:00 pm, beginning June 17th. We will begin by reading White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. We have a handful of books available at $12/each or of course you may find your own copy. Click here to sign up. If you have any questions please contact Lindsay Drake lindsay@cwames.org or Lauren Loonsfoot lauren@cwames.org *If this time does not work for you please let us know and we will explore offering an additional time.

Raising Anti-Racist Children

As parents we invest time to learn about the nutritional values of the snacks our children eat, or the latest math methods. But how are we doing when it comes to raising anti-racist children? Join us for a bi-weekly gathering to share resources, learn and discuss. Please let Lauren Loonsfoot lauren@cwames.org know if you’d like to be involved. The next zoom gathering will be Thursday, June 18th at 8:00 pm. We also have a Facebook group dedicated to sharing resources and are committed to learning, growing, communicating and doing the work to raise our children to be Anti-Racist.


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