Two more black men are killed by police for minor violations. Five Dallas police officers are killed while protecting peaceful protestors. It seems to us that everything is falling apart. According to a recent poll, 69% of Americans think that race relations are getting worse.
Just mentioning race sets off accusations of playing the race card and political correctness. With each new tragedy, civic leaders, political leaders, editorial writers, and television talking heads declare that we must have a healing conversation, an interracial dialogue, to have any hope of improving our lives; but it is easy turn away because it is so hard.
Recent events have made this conversation more urgent than ever. Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC President and General Minister calls us to open a meaningful, substantive, and safe dialogue on the dynamics of white privilege, saying that this is a difficult conversation but not one that we need to shy away from.
We have opened this conversation at Old First. We began our Sacred Conversation on Race in 2015, and at the 2016 annual meeting, the congregation affirmed its support for this program.
The Sacred Conversation on Race Mission Team is sketching out a plan to continue our conversation. On the fourth Sunday of the each month, beginning on August 28, we will meet after worship in the Social Hall to continue our learning, conversation, and discoveries about race and racism. We are certain that if we set a time, people will come. Content and format of the meetings are yet to be decided. Though we have accomplished a lot so far, our team members are all busy people. We need to grow our team. We need to know your desires and ideas about the content and format of these conversations.
We expect that those who are interested in helping us may prefer various levels of involvement in this effort. Joining the planning team will mean attending meetings to participate in drawing up plans for, or even leading one of the sessions. Others may prefer an ally role, contributing their ideas and specific skills to our work as needed. All are welcome.
If you are interested in our work, talk with any member of the SCOR team – Barbara G., Michael J., Delilah M., Tony and Lisa M., Margaret R, Beth W., Jackie W., and Gerry W.
Margaret R is collecting e-mail addresses of all who are interested in helping us, in whatever capacity.
In light of all that has happened recently, people may if they wish, stay to talk after “Intimate Communion” this Sunday, July 17.