We’ll be gathering on Zoom on Sunday morning, at 10:00 a.m.; message our Facebook page if you want the link to join. In this space, however, I want to encourage you to spend some worshipful time considering how you are called to be part of the end of systemic racism.
As Friends, we don’t condone the use of violence in any circumstances, but racist violence applied by the state is particularly appalling. Let’s listen to Black leadership and work together to make this stop. We pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven; what we begin with our prayers, may we continue with our lives.
Grace and peace,
Gathering Moment: Common Hymnal | Rose Petals | Feat. Dee Wilson
A Litany for Those not Ready for Healing By Dr. Yolanda Pierce, 2016
Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.
Let us not rush to offer a bandaid, when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.
Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment.
Let us not speak of reconciliation without speaking of reparations and restoration, or how we can repair the breach and how we can restore the loss.
Let us not rush past the loss of this mother’s child, this father’s child…someone’s beloved son.
Let us not value property over people; let us not protect material objects while human lives hang in the balance.
Let us not value a false peace over a righteous justice.
Let us not be afraid to sit with the ugliness, the messiness, and the pain that is life
in community together.
Let us not offer clichés to the grieving, those whose hearts are being torn asunder.
Let us mourn black and brown men and women, those killed extrajudicially every 28 hours.
Let us lament the loss of a teenager, dead at the hands of a police officer who described him as a demon.
Let us weep at a criminal justice system, which is neither blind nor just.
Let us call for the mourning men and the wailing women, those willing to rend their garments of privilege and ease, and sit in the ashes of this nation’s original sin.
Let us be silent when we don’t know what to say.
Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage, and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.
Let us decrease, so that our brothers and sisters who live on the underside of history may increase.
Let us pray with our eyes open and our feet firmly planted on the ground
Let us listen to the shattering glass and let us smell the purifying fires, for it is the language of the unheard.
God, in your mercy…
Show me my own complicity in injustice.
Convict me for my indifference.
Forgive me when I have remained silent.
Equip me with a zeal for righteousness.
Never let me grow accustomed or acclimated to unrighteousness.
Scripture Reading: Amos 5:18-24
Woe to you who long
for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
That day will be darkness, not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Special Music: Common Hymnal | How Much Longer? | Feat. Ike Ndolo
New England Yearly Meeting: A Time for Repentance and Transformation
We recognize that our silence in this moment would be collusion with violence. So we speak: to support the leadership of Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color; to support those calling and working for change in the streets, in government, in essential work, and at home. We speak to reclaim the symbols of faith from their use to justify the sins of empire. We speak to publicly recommit ourselves to Truth. Black Lives Matter.
This is a time for repentance and transformation. Quakers are called to live “in the virtue of that Life and Power that takes away the occasion for all wars.” We understand this to mean that those of us who have been and are complicit in the systems and practices that create and maintain white supremacy—and its myriad forms of violence—are called with Divine guidance to do the work to understand that complicity and to end it. Repentance, in its Biblical usage, goes beyond recognizing the harm done and includes both actively turning away from that harm and participating in the transformation of the Spirit—in us, and in the world.
We repent our complicity in the continuing violence of white supremacy, xenophobia, and all systems and powers that separate us from each other. We repent our role in the double standards and denial of justice for so many. We repent our part in American racism that led to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the African American people, Indigenous people, and people of color in recent months and across centuries whose lives have been taken by the violence and domination of white supremacy.
Repentance also means being transformed into something wholly new and Divinely led…
Message: Osheta Moore on Everyday Peacemaking
Osheta Moore is the author of Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World. She’s an Anabaptist speaker and church planter with a particular passion for helping white people engage in work for racial justice. Here, she’s in conversation with Cara Meredith. Skip forward to about 10:40 in the video because they had some technical issues going live.
Osheta Moore, Author, Speaker, Everyday Peacemaker
Posted by Cara Meredith on Friday, June 5, 2020
Queries for Consideration
An Examine for Racial Justice:
- Have I fully loved God and fully loved my neighbor as myself?
- Have I caused pain to others by my actions or my words that offended my brother or my sister?
- Have I done enough to inform myself about the sin of racism, its roots, and its historical and contemporary manifestations? Have I opened my heart to see how unequal access to economic opportunity, jobs, housing, and education on the basis of skin color, race, or ethnicity, has denied and continues to deny the equal dignity of others?
- Is there a root of racism within me that blurs my vision of who my neighbor is?
- Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and I did or said nothing, leaving the victim to address their pain alone?
- Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism with me inflicting the pain, acting opposite of love of God and love of neighbor?
- Have I ever lifted up and aided a person who “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and paid a price for extending mercy to the other? How did I react? Did my faith grow? Am I willing to grow even more in faith through my actions?
What Can I Do?
Systematic racism is an overwhelming problem. It’s hard to know where to start. Here are some ideas.
Sarah Bessey has a great list of Black women to follow on social media. She also has some book recommendations.
Closing Hymn: Common Hymnal | Come And Tear Down The Walls | Feat. Jenny Wahlström, Mark Alan Schoolmeesters