Dear Church Family –
To begin, just begin to understand the anguish of those who cry in the streets “say his name” and “I can’t breathe”, take time now, to sit in silent meditation for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
8 minutes and 46 seconds is how long officer Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck. Kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Despite cries from the crowd, despite pleading from Mr. Floyd and despite the fact that for the final 3 minutes, Mr Floyd was unresponsive, Officer Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck.
Did you do it? Did you fully experience just how long 8 minutes and 46 seconds can be?
Did you take the time – all 8 minutes and 46 seconds – to pray for peace and for justice for all of God’s children – and especially for those who have been marginalized and persecuted for the color of their skin? Do you realize that it is only because of a cell phone video that we know the truth of what happened that day.
Which makes me have to ask how many others truths do we not know?
I am realizing in these shocking, desperate days, how much I don’t know. And I am wondering why I never bothered to know it? And now that I know a little bit of it, I can’t pretend to not know, I can’t ignore the facts and that leaves me . . . where? guilty? heart broken? energized to do something? Overwhelmed?
I do know one thing, it is time to listen, to listen deeply to the honest experiences of the black and brown community. It is time to look in the mirror and recognize the truth of privilege and to be willing to listen, to learn, to educate myself and to use my resources for the benefit of others.
Our worship service theme on Sunday is beauty . . . . which may seem surprising. What is beautiful? and do we see the beauty right in front of us? and how do we open our eyes and heart to beauty right now? And what of the opposite – ugliness? For this is a beautiful time and an ugly time. And my having averted my eyes from the ugliness of racism and my heart from the ugly violence of racism, I am now confronted with it. I can no longer avoid the ugly truth. Avoiding what we find ugly is instinctive and yet, and yet, avoiding the ugliness leads to ignorance. Which brings me back to listening and learning and educating myself about a world I don’t know and eventually finding the beauty in the truth – in the painful truth. For I do believe that there is beauty in the painful truth and it is the truth that shall set us free.
Ah well, I do hope that you will join us for worship on Sunday as we explore this theme of the beautiful and the ugly.
Please reach out if you need anything, please call each other, please check on your neighbor. Let us be kind, compassionate, patient and gentle with each other and with ourselves.
Be safe, stay home, wash your hands! Get outside and breathe fresh air!
And may your faith be greater than your fear today and each day to come.
In the greatest of hope – Lucia
From my dear colleague Rev. Amanda Swoyer: Below are some resources which I strongly recommend and I encourage you to read, listen and learn. We don’t know what we don’t know, but not knowing about racism is no longer an excuse. It is up to each one of us to do the work to learn why
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice: (article is updated continually)
The Cross and the Lynching Tree: a Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery (and sermon but Rev Dr. Otis Moss III) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6985UG0Z3k
Relevant reading list:
Sunday, June 7th 9:30 start “gathering” for worship
10:00 Worship service with at Home Communion
Worship Theme: “Beauty” Do we notice beauty? Are we looking for it?
What is beautiful to you today? Please send me photos, poems, reflection or even a one word answer to share in the worship service. “What is beautiful to you today?”
Monday 7:00 Bible Study via Zoom (please email me if interested in joining!)
8:00 AA meeting
Tuesday 9:00 – 11:00 “Drive Through” Church Office Hours –
Lucia will be sitting outside at church – unless it is raining torrentially –
and YOU are invited to Drive through for a visit –
staying at a safe physical distance OF COURSE!
Thursday 12:30 – 1:30 Book Discussion of Holy Envy (details below)
Sunday, June 14th 9:30 start “gathering” for worship
10:00 Worship service
HOME COMMUNION On Sunday, June 7th we will share together Holy Communion in our online Zoom worship. We re-commit ourselves to living Pentecost lives, listening to the words of youth, sharing the dreams of elders, inviting new languages, some digital, to tell our good news.
Before the time of the service you will want to prepare a slice or a small loaf of any kind of bread to share or a cracker and a cup or small cups of juice — perhaps grape or cranberry — or wine, with or without alcohol. Set these elements in the living room or kitchen where you experience worship electronically with our faith community. Perhaps you want to put them on a lovely cloth or fabric that reminds you of a special time or person. Have a candle ready to light and place by the bread and cup and/ or place a flower or the photograph of someone you wish to bring into the circle of faith beside the bread and the cup. Remember that Jesus used what was at hand during a regular meal and made it holy by blessing it and setting it aside.
Thank you for your preparation.