Like many of you I grew up in the 1960’s as schools were desegregated, ‘separate but equal’ was disappearing, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. I grew up with the photograph above taken in 1957 by late IU Journalism professor Will Counts when he worked for the Arkansas Democrat.* Recently, I heard Stephen Carter, Yale law professor who has written numerous books and articles about race in America, say that he’s been writing on race for 30 years and nothing has really changed. To me It feels like we’re beginning all over again.
So how do we do that?
First of all, remember what you believe: We believe that every person is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26); in Christ God is about the work of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21); and at Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on all who were gathered — people of many nationalities, colors and languages (Acts 2). In Luke 4 Jesus says that he has been anointed to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovering of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. We are called to be followers of Jesus’ teachings.
Second, do something. Pray and reflect on the verses of scripture above. Take them to heart. Allow yourself to dig more deeply into your own attitudes toward people of color with these suggestions:
a) Be willing to be uncomfortable. Don’t be neutral. Be actively anti-racist — even when it means being diligent about addressing your own racism.
b) Listen to the stories of people of color and learn. Here’s a list of books for listening to black voices.
*see A Life Is More Than a Moment: The Desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High with text and photographs by Will Counts with essays by others.
- Our Gathering for worship will be via Zoom this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. WE WILL BEGIN WITH HOLY COMMUNION together so have your elements ready — bread and grape juice (or wine or water). Following Holy Communion we will watch the recorded service together allowing those for whom the sound quality is bad to leave the meeting and watch it directly from YouTube. The Zoom invitation to gather is at the bottom of this email.
- Nel Hamilton moved to the Masonic Home in Franklin today. Please pray for her as she makes this transition. We do not have an exact address yet (that is, room #), but I’m sure mail will get to her if you send it to Annella Hamitlon, Indiana Masonic Home, 690 S. State Street, Franklin, IN, 46131.
- We will begin having in-person services on Sunday, July 5, at 9:30 a.m., hopefully with live streaming. That means you can watch from your home while the service is happening. Although it is wonderful to gather in person, each person needs to carefully evaluate the safety of doing so and attend from home as needed. Sunday School classes and small groups will continue to meet via Zoom or in smaller outdoor gatherings as is deemed safe; the building will be closed to outside groups at least through the summer.