This past May at our Regional Assembly we launched our 2016-18 Regional Focus, “Embracing Diversity.” This theme is one of the key focus areas from our Mission Plan adopted in 2009. In that Mission Plan we proclaimed:
Diversity is a gift from God that must be nurtured, cherished, and encouraged, as God’s truth is usually too much for any one of us alone. We commit ourselves to the work of healing and reconciling our brokenness and the wounds of the past. In light of our oneness in Christ, we commit to be open, receptive and inclusive of all people, recognizing that we as individuals and together as a regional church will be transformed by our relationships with one another.
In light of racial tensions in this country and around the world, the theme of Embracing Diversity seems even more relevant and important. Learning, listening, and acknowledging our role in perpetuating stereotypes and racist systems is an important part of how we make real our core value of celebrating God’s gift of diversity.
In that spirit, as part of living into our Focus Area, we, your Regional Moderator Team, invite and challenge you to engage your congregations in a study around diversity during the month of September leading up to the Reconciliation Offering held on Sept. 25 and October 2 and we invite you to share stories of what your congregation has done/is doing that can be lifted up and celebrated in the October Northwest Passage. Some possible resources for such a study are listed below. Consider inviting another congregation to partner with you in the study to include even more voices in the discussion and continue building true community.
We look forward to participating in these events in our congregations and hearing about what is happening in yours.
Grace and peace,
Your Moderator Team
- Sandy Messick, Regional Minister
- Heesook Yoo, Regional Board Moderator
- Rick Lewis, Regional Board Moderator-Elect
- David Helseth, Mission Council Moderator
- Sarita McReynolds, Mission Council Moderator-Elect
“Injustice Anywhere” - A collection of stories following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and the community reactions that followed. Documentary offered through the National Benevolent Association. Includes study guide and tips for hosting a screening in your community. https://www.nbacares.org/care-resources/injustice-anywhere
“Under our Skin,” - A collection of short videos regarding racism and white privilege from people in the Seattle area. http://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/under-our-skin/# A study guide is available for download below.
“White Privilege, Let’s Talk” - a webinar series offered by the Center for Progressive Renewal. https://progressiverenewal.org/shop/webinars/white-privilege-lets-talk/
A study guide and curriculum is being produced but the webinars are available now.
“Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation,” by Rev. Dr. William Barber
http://www.chalicepress.com/Forward-Together-P1436C3.aspx. A free study guide is available from Chalice Press
“Pre-Post Racial America” by Sandhya Rani Jha. http://www.chalicepress.com/pre-post-racial-america-p1517.aspx. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
“Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. From the description: “Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.”
Reconciliation Ministries offers a number of curricula/study guides around various aspects of racism. These are free for download in their Racism Study Pack, found here: http://reconciliationministry.org/resources/#resource-videos and listed under “Other Resources.”
The Yakama Mission website lists a number of resources related to the Doctrine of Discovery. https://yakamamission.org/justice-doctrine-of-discovery-resources/
To Be Announced