Dear Folks,

Poet Gregory Orr writes, “I want to go back to the beginning.  We all do.  I think: Hurt won’t be there.  But I’m wrong.  Where the water bubbles up at the spring: isn’t that a wound?”  The unrest felt across the country is a response to the violence of racism.  Our human spirit has been bent for generations by first slavery, and then racist laws, and now behavior that still privileges white bodies over brown and black bodies.  George Floyd is only the most recent example of this death-dealing status quo.  And the question is not whether this particularly American sin wounds each of us—it does—but whether we are willing to be a part of the change to which God is calling us.

I want to be part of the change, and so I am listening.

I want to be part of the change, and so I am praying.

I want to be part of the change, and so I am reading: Waking Up White, by Debby Irving; White Fragility, by Robin DeAngelo; Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston; The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison; The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley & Malcolm X.

I want to be part of the change, and so I am acting: with BUILD partners to make sure that COVID-19 testing is available in zip codes that are predominantly black and brown; with ReBuild Metro, to create affordable housing and neighborhood health in Johnston Square; with Turnaround Tuesday, to support job readiness and job training, especially for returning citizens and the working poor.

How can you be part of the change?  Listen, pray, and ACT with me.  Don’t be silent!  Speak the painful truth—of the things we have done and left undone.  Speak the healing truth—that we are truly sorry and we humbly repent.  Speak the compassionate truth—that every human being deserves dignity and respect.  The water bubbling up through our wounds is the Living Water of God.