On Pentecost Sunday, we remembered in Worship and Bible Study how the Spirit of God forms a “New Community.” It happened, in part, as the people heard.
Throughout our country and in our own city, in the days since the killing of George Floyd, we are hearing the resounding pain of our nation’s centuries of struggle with systemic racism and many of us are listening intently. As Alan said in Sunday’s sermon: “Some of us might be hearing the language of racial justice today as loudly as we ever have. There seems to me to be a swell of grief, outrage, anger at the reality of racism and the history of white supremacy, along with a collective desire to be more and do more than we have before.”
As our church seeks to follow the movement of the Spirit in our time and place, we want to provide opportunities to understand how our faith encourages us to work for racial justice and become more anti-racist. Professor Ibram X. Kendi has said “The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist.’” It’s anti-racist, which involves actively listening, learning and growing in our hearts, minds and actions.
There are many resources available to us in this work, but we wanted to recommend some to you as a starting point. We also want to provide some opportunities for you to do this work with others of as a community of faith.
This is a great opportunity for God to open our ears to listen, and to open our hearts and minds to the ways we can better love our neighbors and work for the justice so core to the “New Community” that God’s Spirit inspires.
As our summer begins on June 14, we’re offering two book clubs and one group study around faith and racial justice. Click here if you are interested so we can make sure you receive follow-up details as dates are finalized.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
A moving and eye-opening autobiographical account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America.
The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
An important theological work exploring the connections between the suffering of Jesus and the reality of racial injustice, through the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community.
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
Particularly for parents, a study around Jennifer Harvey’s book, which seeks to “help families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions.”
Other Recommended Resources:
REI Virtual Groundwater Presentation | Tuesday, June 16 | 1:00–4:00 p.m. (Eastern)
CBFNC has partnered with the Racial Equity Institute to offer its “Groundwater Presentation” as a virtual experience. In this three-hour, lively and participatory presentation, REI organizers will use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant.
This event takes place over Zoom. We have reserved 10 spots for FBC members to attend this presentation. If you would like one of these spots, please contact Courtney Willis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can register yourself. Registration ends June 15 if you register yourself directly through CBF.
Just Mercy– This movie has been made available to rent for free across most digital platforms (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc.) in the month of June.
How to Be Antiracist– A conversation with professor Ibram X Kendi can be found here.
Codeswitch– A podcast about issues of race in America
Choose one or more of these books to read alone or with those you love. If you exhaust this list, let us know and we can recommend more!
ADULTS | So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
YOUNG PEOPLE | Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You: A Remix of the National Book Award
Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi
CHILDREN | Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Mariane Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazard and Jennifer Zivoin
PRESCHOOLERS | The Colors of Us by Karen Katz