They valued having “Conversations about Race: Justice, Reconciliation, Hope” when Metro D.C. Synod rostered leaders got together for their annual retreat in October. As individuals, family members, friends, pastors, congregation members and synod representatives, these diverse men and women explored themes of racial justice and directions for our local expression of the church.
Overheard observations* by participants included:
- The culture we are in is not about us being together.
- We can only come together through the cross.
- Regret does not save or change. Only repentance will work.
- We have to let ourselves be noticed.
- We’re going to have to support one another more than we may be prone to do.
Here is a list of resources for understanding and combating racism which presenters found useful which they shared in advance of the 2015 Bishop’s Convocation in Staunton, Virginia. Perhaps they will stimulate reflection in your life and circles as well.
- Get in touch with someone who wasn’t here and make time to talk about these things.
- Barndt, Joseph. Understanding and Dismantling Racism: The Twenty-First Century Challenge to White America. Fortress Press, 2007. (NOTE: Barndt is an ELCA pastor.)
- Carter, J. Kameron. Race: A Theological Account. Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Coates, Ta-Nehisis. Between the World and Me. Spiegel & Grau, 2015.
- Cone, James H. The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Orbis Books, 2011.
- ELCA (2015, August 6). Confronting Racism, with ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and William B. Horne II [Webcast]. Retrieved from www.elca.org/webcast. (NOTE: A list of resources describing the ELCA’s ongoing racial justice work can be found on this page.)
- Harvey, Jennifer. Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation. Eerdmans, 2014.
- Jones, Camara Phyllis. “Confronting Institutionalized Racism.” Phylon, 2003. Retrieved from www.unnaturalcauses.org/resources.php?topic_id=8.
- Perkinson, James. W. White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
- Vigen, Aana Marie. “To Hear and To Be Accountable Across Difference: An Ethic of White Listening.” Disrupting White Supremacy from Within: White People on What WE Need to Do. Editors Harvey, Case & Gorsline. Pilgrim Press, 2004.
- Wise, Tim. White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. Soft Skull Press, 2007.
*Thank you, Katharyn Wheeler, for tuning your ears to these comments that give us a sense of the gathering.