Man what a year this week has been. My time has been spent protesting, writing curriculum, holding space with friends and community members living in the neighborhoods where protesting and rioting is happening, helping clean up, connecting people with resources and information, reading, writing, praying, learning, developing/reformatting trainings, and most recently creating space for our youth and church community to process, come together, and begin to do the work that we, the white church, have so desperately needed to do for far too long (dismantling/undoing the embodiment of white supremacy within ourselves and our institutions). I find myself this morning out of words, unsure how to write all of the things swirling in my head and body. And so, today I leave you with thoughts from Lenny Duncan, an ELCA pastor, whose voice needs to be heard and wisdom heeded by us, the ELCA, the whitest denomination in the United States.
“Dear Church..we must dismantle, destroy, and bury white supremacy. In this nation. In our pews. In our liturgies. As a church, as a people, and as Christians, this is our call in the twenty-first century. There is no way around it. We have lamented this call and drug our feet. We have run the opposite way of Nineveh for far too long. We have negotiated at church council meetings, trying to find a way not to face this. We have thrown sackcloth over our sanctuaries and thrown ashes over the heads of our leaders, crying out to God for another way. But we are the whitest denomination in the United States; if not us, then who will enter this battle for freedom? If not now, then when? It is our duty and our joy that in this time and this place we join the angels and archangels, the witnesses of the resurrection in their never-ending hymn of justice. The banquet that is about to be laid out by the sovereign God is a feast of equity…We are the offering to end white supremacy in this nation and church. We can enter this new phase of American theology willingly, or we can fight it every step of the way. Either way, I am convinced the call of the church in the twenty-first century is to be the vanguard on this new battleground. We must enter this fray with wild abandon. We cannot pause to see if the ground will be firm or make sure that our entire confessional theology falls in line with every partner we make on the way. People are dying, and our secular leaders are more than OK with it. They have assumed the role of empire and could not care less about who gets hurt along the way.” (Dear Church, pgs 13-15).
Dear white church, if not now, when? If not us, who? I saw a sign at one of the protests that said “rebellions are built on hope.” Church we must follow Jesus in joining the rebellion against the Empire and Empirical ways (eh hem white supremacy and the oppressive reality of capitalism on the most vulnerable peoples in society).
If you’re ready to engage the work, please reach out! I would be happy to walk this journey with you. And know at CLC we have a book study coming up in July on “Me and White Supremacy” as well as some other trainings and tangible action steps planned.
All I know is it is time. It is past time.
“Rebellions are built on hope.” Let’s remember the hope found in Christ, the promise of liberation and restoration for all of creation, and press int together to bringing the fullness of the Kingdom of God to earth.
I love you all. And I’m here if you need me.