Comfort vs. Discomfort

 

Dear Friends,

 

There is one thing in life I am absolutely certain of: nobody wants to be uncomfortable. Yet the last four months—along with a swelling movement against racial injustice in recent days—have made every single one of us uncomfortable in some way. What all kinds of people are experiencing at this moment are competing realities of our country as they flicker on and off the screen.

 

Our lives are constructed largely not by what happens to us, but by the stories we tell about what happens to us. Whoever tells the narrative—by what means and in what form—shapes reality. Perhaps for many of us, the issue of race is a narrative we have largely ignored or denied or believe doesn’t directly impact us. We now find ourselves in a time when many white people and other non-Black people are attempting to educate themselves, and this education starts with listening to Black people share their pain, their stories, their hopes, their joy. 

 

As followers of Jesus Christ, who loves all and calls us to challenge unjust structures and the status quo, we are called to work for justice and peace for all God’s people. We have an opportunity before us, however uncomfortable it may be, to see the world through the eyes of people excluded by many of the broken structures and systems in our country. In an attempt to simply start the conversation, you are invited to listen and learn in a few ways:

 

  • The PC(USA) 21-Day Racial Justice Challenge is a simple opportunity to study articles, books, podcasts, and videos that raise awareness about racism and encourage action in response to that awareness. You can do it on your own or there will also be discussion opportunities via zoom Tuesdays (July 7, 14, 21) at 6:00 pm.

 

Zoom Meeting Link: Email the church office at church.unitedpres@gmail.com to receive the link.

 

  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing BrownFour Week Book Study: Friday’s at 10:00 am beginning July 10th. This book is challenging, prophetic, and beautiful. It’s a gift to our word that couldn’t have come at a better time. In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of racial hostility in America’s social fabric while inviting the reader to confront apathy and recognize God’s ongoing work in the world.

*Books are available in the church office.

 

Zoom Meeting Link: Email the church office at church.unitedpres@gmail.com to receive the link