Contributor: Shannon Beck – Our Redeemer’s Social Justice Coordinator
“In the model of Christ and for the life of the world, we are
an inclusive, devoted, caring, and spiritual community that
accepts challenges, takes risks and grows.” –ORLC vision statement
The recent deaths of Aumad Aubury, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and subsequent local and international protests, has once again raised deep concerns about racism across our country. Our Redeemer’s takes this reality with seriousness and intent, is willing and desirous of listening and working toward better understanding, and has determination to change ourselves and our society to be in alignment with God’s plan for the well-being of all.
We are creating a plan and there are opportunities for everyone to learn and contribute.
First, we will be contributing $500 to the Black Lives Matter movement in Seattle.
Second, we want to make a larger financial impact with our 3% funds to potentially help eliminate cash bail, a practice that disproportionately impacts people of color. For more details, read https://www.nwcombailfund.org/ . I have a call out to St. Mark’s Cathedral, who is a primary mover in this effort with clarifying questions.
This working plan is very much “in progress” and your input is valued.
Immediate Responses (please join as many as you wish):
- Join a discussion to create a statement in alignment with our mission and vision, and ELCA policy, that helps Our Redeemer’s become a more effective racial justice congregation. Our first Zoom meeting is Monday, June 8, 7pm. Contact Shannon to join and receive materials. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Begin a study of Martin Luther King’s speeches from the book, “Strength to Love”. We will begin with “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” the week of June 15. Available online. Contact Shannon if you want to join to receive the link.
- Join a 3-session discussion of films as a starting point for deeper understanding, beginning 9:30am, Sunday June 14, with “Claiming Our Story: White Privilege and Racial Justice” with Brene Brown’s clear, brief video.
Longer Term Possibilities (input welcomed):
- Developing regional partners with whom we can be in solidarity and learning for the long haul
- Creating a year plan for the church that also includes outreach to other community partners
- Providing training for leaders and church members.
Many of us knew this already, but we feel this may be a tipping point toward better equity and safety for black and brown people IF communities like ours are willing to forge a deep path toward personal and community understanding and action(s). Please pray – and join this important work.