For those of you who are just getting into the ENews life (or maybe just waking up to the fact that it’s lent), which I hope neither is the case; we as Conference Staff have been doing a book study of “Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing For Racial Reconciliation” by Jennifer Harvey.
Now maybe the book was chosen because of the amplified racial tension in the U.S. today, maybe because the author is from Des Moines professor-ing at Drake, but maybe it’s because it calls us, in a parallel way to the season of lent, to repent. In the words of Jennifer herself in an interview with Eerdmans, “The book’s meant to help Christians in general but specifically white Christians to consider what it might mean to repair and to move into relationships, postures and ways of being that God calls us to, around healing and reconciliation”.
Now in this interview she uses the word reconciliation BUT in the book she argues that a better word for us to use is reparation. We as white Christians ought to be striving not only to reconcile and build relationships with our black brothers and sisters but also to make reparations, to give back what we are privileged (I know that’s a tough word for some-stick with me though) to have that they do not.
For me this was the biggest take away from the whole process of the book study. Which is why when I first found out that the staff would be writing on the topic of race I immediately got in touch with a seminary colleague of mine; an African American sister in the faith, to see if I could buy levitra online australia give my privileged ENews space to her voice.
It seemed odd, I still am struggling, with the dominating white voices in this sacred conversation on race that we are having through lent. I am hoping that more people will be willing to chime in through the blog comment section. I am hoping and praying to hear words of wisdom and truth in regards to not just my thoughts about an all-white staff dominating the conversation on race in Iowa, but to the topic of race in general…in the nation, in the whole world really!
Clearly my seminarian friend didn’t write this ENews-but it wasn’t because she didn’t want to, it was because I realized how unfair it was of me, as it is of white folks in general, to ask their black friends, or any friends of color to be ‘the’ voice for racial justice issues. So instead of giving back the privileged voice that I have (there’s that word that many of us struggle with), I took back the privileged ability to sluff off the struggle of race and am writing to you…the whole conference asking for you all to join in on the conversation, help us as a conference staff actually have a conversation about race instead of just speaking at you about it. Engage with us about this sacred topic so that we as a Church might do more to repent, repair and build relationships to unify and reconcile.
Peace on the Journey,
Pastor Samantha (Sam) Houser Pastor at Zion UCC Waukon and Adjunct Conference Staff for youth and young adult ministries