As I was meeting with our confirmands last fall, nearly each youth told me their favorite question of the Baptismal Covenant is, “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” When I asked why they like that part in particular, the youth shared that they appreciate that honoring the dignity of each human is a central part of our faith. The dignity of each individual stems from the fact that Genesis tells us we are made in the image of God. We all reflect our creator which means human life is sacred. As we watch the news right now, it is clear that there are some bodies that are not respected due to the color of their skin. At this moment, our Baptismal Covenant is calling each of us to challenge racism in America and to strive for racial justice. Because as Christians, our faith compels us to be at the forefront of ending racism and white privilege in our society.
We have seen protests against police brutality, racism and white supremacy pop up all over the country and in our own backyards. While there is an increase in protests, the injustices being protested are not new to our country. American history is full of violence against Black, Indigenous and people of color, and Christians have often assisted these injustices. While these facts are alarming, we have the opportunity to participate in transformative work right now, and we must consider our call to “ strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” as we go forward. This summer our parish held several conversations about white privilege and race, along with a five part series on policing in our community. We have done some important work together, and I am writing to invite you to a next step.
Beginning in mid October St. Paul’s will host Sacred Ground circles, which provide an opportunity to dive deeper. This ten part series offers videos, readings, and small group discussion to help us “walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity.” A special aspect of this program is that it offers us space to discuss racism in light of our Chrsitian faith. The groups will offer space to pray, reflect and learn together and will be kept intimate so that groups can do important work together. If you would like to learn more about this program, please consider attending one of our upcoming Q + A Sessions which will take place on Sunday October 4 at 6pm on Zoom HERE.
The groups will meet at the following times:
Saturday mornings 9-11am
with Jacqui Och and Mary Rago
Tuesday Mornings from 10am-12pm
with Carolyn Cornelius and Anita Kinsley
Sunday evenings 7-9pm
with Pat Dunkis and Lily Junker
If you would like more information or to sign up, please contact Laura at [email protected]