Bishop Bob has given us this challenge: “The Desert Southwest Conference (DSC) must embark on its own initiative to eradicate racism, and to dismantle white privilege. We confess that we are ourselves guilty of racism implicitly as well as explicitly. And we must not allow this moment to fade away without taking a stand and redirecting our path into the future. I call on the DSC to put this on the front burner as we seek to be a Courageous Church: Loving like Jesus, Acting for Justice, and United in the Hope in Jesus’ call to be one body, united in our commitment to share the Good News with hope to our world.”
If we are serious about not allowing this moment to fade away without working to redirect our path these two questions from our baptismal covenant are important:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?
Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
These questions are a call to engage with our faith. But let me tell you, the call to engage is more than lip service or an angry post on social media. If we are to take the questions seriously, we are called to engage with our faith in such a way that it impacts our thinking and our behavior. My former coach, Eric Martin from Adaptive Change Advisors, hosted a series of conversations recently. In one conversation he shared an article, “Performative Allyship Is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead)” https://forge.medium.com/performative-allyship-is-deadly-c900645d9f1f. In this article we are reminded, in similar fashion, that “activism is more than a hashtag.”
It is easy to write an angry post decrying racism but walking in the waters of our baptism is not that easy. It starts with a deep sense of growing in personal holiness –listening, self-reflection, learning, battling the tendency toward denial before moving into confession and true repentance. Social justice is the outward manifestation of personal piety. And it is experienced in the choices you make each and every day.
I invite you to join me in this pivotal moment in our lives. Together let us learn and grow and become instruments of real change when it comes to ending racism in our own lives, in our churches, and in our communities. I have created a Facebook (FB) group that is meant to be a safe place to have conversation. The FB group is called “Walk in the Waters.” It is an invitation to find ways for all of us to become better at walking in the waters of our baptism.
Real change can and must happen. Let’s do it together.
Blessings and peace be yours.