Our Redeemer's Blog

Social Justice Coordinator’s Report

Written by Elizabeth Dickinson

July 1, 2021

BALLARD SUNDAY DINNER needs two leads for July 18. This involves planning a meal, shopping, and working with other volunteers to cook and serve 2:30-6:00. You would have a full complement of volunteers who have already signed up. Thank you for stepping up!

RACIAL JUSTICE ALL-CHURCH READ. Racial Justice Advocates invites you to read or listen to the “brilliant” book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. At the end of the summer, we will offer times for discussion. RJA will be ordering some books for us to share, or find your own.

Caste will spur readers to think and to feel in equal measure.”—Kwame Anthony Appiah, The New York Times Book Review
“[Caste] should be at the top of every American’s reading list.”—Jennifer Day, Chicago Tribune

PURCHASE SCHOOL SUPPLIES TO SHARE WITH CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD. As you prepare to send your own children to school, we invite you to prepare someone else’s child as well! Please buy extra school supplies and bring them to church on September 12 and 19. We will be packing school kits together on September 19 at 11:30 for children in crisis, and sharing these with Lutheran World Relief. Here is the list of needed shopping:

  • 70-sheet notebooks of wide- or college-ruled paper, approximately 8” x 10 ½”
  • 30-centimeter ruler, or a ruler with centimeters on one side and inches on the other
  • pencil sharpener
  • pair of blunt scissors (safety scissors with embedded steel blades work well)
  • set of 5 unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers
  • black or blue ballpoint pens (no gel ink)
  • box of 16 or 24 crayons
  • 2 ½” eraser

Thank you!

SAFE PARKING GUESTS COPE WITH EXTREME HEAT, WITH OUR HELP. As temperatures climbed last week, we feared for our guests in the safe parking program. The steps to the Fellowship Hall are under re-construction, so we couldn’t offer the coolness and safety of running water and being indoors. Dinah Coble contacted the P-patch, which generously offered the use of their shelter and water. We packed the refrigerator with drinking water, equipped the shed with a fan, and posted information about cooling centers. Still, as you know, the heat was life-threatening. With our Social Justice Program budget, we were able to send a father and son whose car was barely working to a motel for two nights until the heat broke, and I was able to check in multiple times with a third guest. It felt wonderful to be able to offer some tangible care with our offerings. Let’s continue to pray for stable housing for them all.

In June we celebrated our first recycling event in 18 months! I imagine there is more space in quite a few homes, as we filled more than one large truck of retired electronics, about an ambulance worth of Styrofoam, and two minivans of men’s and women’s clothing. The Bridge Care Center was delighted with the new infusion of clothing and shoes, since they were running very low. Professional clothing is going to Mary’s Place, Jubilee Women’s Center and Congregations for the Homeless. We and our land and oceans are so grateful to Malaika, Liam and Phillipa Dugaw, Colin Neu, Sienna Seyler, Sarah Uhlemann and Pastor Gretchen who made signs, sorted Styrofoam, carried boxes, directed traffic, and generally made this event possible! 

Looking for more to read this summer to better understand racism? While not exactly beach reading (though I did read one of these on the beach last summer!), here is some accessible and eye-opening nonfiction about racism centered along black and white identities and experiences that I have appreciated (more on other identities later):

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Seattle author)

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown (Evangelical Christian background)

Uprooting Racism by Paul Kivel

Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving

The Black Church: This is our story. This is our song. Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. https://www.pbs.org/weta/black-church/

And denser, about how our lives are intertwined: The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee.

I’d be happy to meet and talk about any of these with you. Email me, Elizabeth: outreach@ourredeemers.net. And keep your eyes open for a late summer opportunity offered by the Racial Justice Advocates group to read/watch and discuss a book/movie on racial equity. 

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