It is Time to Wake Up

gethsemaneThe following devotion was offered by Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin during the weekly online gathering for ELCA leaders on “Being Church in Times of Crisis,” Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (The Commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Emanuel 9). See video here.

On Maundy Thursday of 2020 I posted about praying like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today, as tens of thousands take to the streets daily demanding racial justice and systemic change, Jesus’ call to WAKE UP couldn’t be more urgent. Dear fellow white Christians, the hour is upon us. It is time to WAKE UP! Continue reading “It is Time to Wake Up”

White Folks, Relationships are Key for Movement Building

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Demonstrators at a June 14 nonviolent assembly and vigil supporting the Movement for Black Lives and in honor of loved ones killed by police violence in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Photo credit: Chaplains on the Harbor, chaplainsontheharbor.org.

By Tim W. Shenk

Part 2 of “Don’t Delete Your White Friends.”

I wrote a short piece recently, encouraging my fellow white people not to delete our white friends who post hurtful or misinformed opinions, especially around race and racism.

Lots of people have read this piece. Many have gotten what I was trying to say, but I don’t think I was clear enough. It’s not about penance or doing hard things out of guilt about our whiteness, and it’s not about staying friends with white supremacists. Here’s a second attempt to say more about what I was driving at.

I want to be clear that the “don’t delete white friends” proposal applies to people we’re actually friends with — in real life! Not just on social media. “Don’t delete” is less about curating a Facebook profile and more about an orientation for our actual lives. The friends I’m talking about are people that at some point have shared something significant in common with us. People who have some reason to care about us and what we think, and vice versa.
Continue reading “White Folks, Relationships are Key for Movement Building”

Divine Strangers

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Birmingham, Alabama 1963

By Tommy Airey, a sermon on Genesis 18:1-15. For Storydwelling, a local community of belonging, ritual and resistance in Central Oregon (June 14, 2020).

“Abraham looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.’”—Genesis 18:2-3

For some context: Abraham and Sarah are a very wealthy couple who cannot get pregnant. They try and try, year after year, decade after decade. Nothing. Late in life, God promises that they will have a child. Ten years pass. Still nothing—so Sarah gives Abraham her slave Hagar as a surrogate wife to bear their child. Hagar is Egyptian. She is a Black woman. When Hagar gets pregnant and gives birth to their son Ishmael, Sarah gets resentful and violently abuses her. This was the original version of The Handmaid’s Tale. Continue reading “Divine Strangers”

Deleting Your White Friends Doesn’t End Racism

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Tim W. Shenk, center, with his daughter Emma at a forum of the New York Poor People’s Campaign in Elmira, NY in 2019.

By Tim W. Shenk

In the days since the murder of Black father #GeorgeFloyd by white cops, I’ve seen “woke” white folks saying “if you don’t like what I post, delete me or I’ll delete you.”

Now is not the time for white folks to abandon our white brothers and sisters who are saying and doing ignorant and hurtful things.

As hard as it is to see ignorance, hate or clueless whitesplaining by white friends on our feeds, it’s reality. These too are our people. This shit doesn’t stop just because we don’t see it, and it can’t get better if all the so-called woke white folks are too busy being woke to have hard conversations that need to be had. Continue reading “Deleting Your White Friends Doesn’t End Racism”

Frida Berrigan’s Statement at Liz McAlister’s Sentencing

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Liz with her kids Kate, Frida, and Jerry

Liz McAlister, the eldest of the King Bay Plowshares 7, was sentenced on Monday via video to time served, three years supervised release and for a portion of the restitution for the seven of just over $30,000.

Frida Berrigan offered the statement below before her mother was sentenced.

Good morning, friends, My name is Frida Berrigan and I am here to speak on behalf of my mom, Elizabeth McAlister, one of the co-defendants in the Kings Bay Plowshares. I’m here in New London, Connecticut with my husband Patrick and our three kids, Liz’s grandchildren- Madeline, 6; Seamus, 7; and Rosena, 13. My brother Jerry is also here, with his wife, Molly and Liz’s other 3 grandchildren, Leah, 10; Jonah, 13 and Amos, 16. My sister Kate and her partner Karen are also here, they are now Liz’s roommates and live up the street a few blocks.
Continue reading “Frida Berrigan’s Statement at Liz McAlister’s Sentencing”

On Racial Justice and Evolution

jyarlandBy Jyarland Daniels, executive director of Harriet Speaks

*Re-posted from social media (June 9, 2020)

One day I will write a book (as too many people continue to ask me to do). And a chapter of that book will be my evolution as it relates to race, racial justice and racial equity work.

That chapter will go something like this:

For much of my child and young adulthood, I was suffocated by racism, but didn’t recognize it as such. Later, I had my own personal awakening. The removing of the scales that clouded my vision started in college and in my early corporate life. In my protest, I walked away from a very lucrative career in business. I have receipts of what I have given up to do this work. Yet, I have no regrets. I only regret that I left bodies in my path. In my harshness and reactionary ways, I didn’t stop to consider that power is important to making change and somebody still needs to have a seat at the table; because, if you aren’t at the table then you are on the menu. I didn’t stop to consider that speaking up to in a way that allows you to heard is just as important as speaking up. Continue reading “On Racial Justice and Evolution”

Apocalypse of Whiteness

whitenessBy Jim Perkinson, a sermon for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Detroit, MI)

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. (Paul, heading off to Rome and ultimately, his death, in II Cor 13:11)

Farewell.  The entirety of the message for today.  Farewell to the world you thought you knew.  Farewell to the country.  To certainty.  To your identity.  To the expectation of progress, well-being, comfort, a good end.  And maybe, most important of all, farewell to the story we have been living in.  We live inside stories—a whole mess of stories—origins stories, initiation stories, trickster stories.  Leslie Marmon Silko says at the end of the day, when the dominators come, when the colonists come, when the supremacists come, when the humans come (if you are a fish or plant or mountain top) all we have are our stories (yes, even non-human creatures probably have stories they live).  But if we are the ones who have been doing the dominating, the colonizing, the reducing, being the “human masters over” everything else as the Psalmist unfortunately says—then what our responsibility comes down to is narrating—and embracing—an “ending.”  How do we end and end well?  Continue reading “Apocalypse of Whiteness”

Blessing Liz McAlister

LizMcalisterArrest2001This morning at 9am Elizabeth McAlister will be the first to be sentenced for her action as part of the Kings Bay Plowshares.

The sentencing itself will take place with a video conference at 9am tomorrow. An audio link is provided by the court for public to listen. Dial 1-888-684-8852, enter the call access code 2296092 and enter the security code 1234.

Last night community gathered over zoom to hold a blessing and liturgy in preparation. Here is the closing blessing for Liz by Bill Wylie-Kellermann.

In the name of the One who creator and sustainer of life; the One who is Lord and servant of all creation; and the Spirit that calls us together as one, let this blessing be. Continue reading “Blessing Liz McAlister”

Day of Fasting and Focus

ppcFrom Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival:

Join us Monday June 8th, two weeks after George Floyd’s death, for a Day of Fasting and Focus which will culminate at 5:00pm when we are asking people to stop where you are for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in silence in honor of the time George Floyd had the literal knee of the state on his neck.

Take the pledge to participate in a National Moment of Silence in Honor of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality on Monday at 5pm EST. Continue reading “Day of Fasting and Focus”