Race in America and other items of interest
February 7, 2019, 12:56 PM

In my continuing effort to bring to Christ Church the things I learned about at General Convention last summer in Texas, this spring my "main focus" is on race: specifically, race relations, racial reconciliation, the history of racism in America, and such like. 

I find it to be fascinating and disturbing at the same time.  For example, I never knew that before the year 1800, the largest number of immigrants to North America came from Africa, not Europe or other locations!  The fact that most of them came in chains indicates the extent to which our country's very beginnings were based on the exploitation of people of color - not just the indigenous peoples, but also those who were bought or captured thousands of miles away and then brought here and sold, treated under the law as property and not as human beings.

Now we all know that slavery as such ended in the 19th Century, but if we listen, we can still hear the voices of people of color saying that the ending of slavery, and the Civil Rights movement have not resolved the situation as much as might be hoped.  Just because you and I might not see or feel it, there are still echoes of racial animus and barriers in our current time.

So, if you've ever wondered why we hear those voices; if you've ever wondered why people march in the streets whenever another African-American dies during a traffic stop; or if you've ever wondered what we can do about the continuing inequities in earnings, college graduation rates, and incarceration rates, then I invite you to join in to explore these at Christian Ed between the Services, or in your own reading. 

It may be an uncomfortable learning, but I truly believe it is worth it because, at least in some part, it will help us to fulfill our baptismal vow to "respect the dignity of every human being."


On another topic - last year at this time, we were only a couple weeks away from the beginning of Lent - it seemed the whole first quarter of the year was some kind of mad dash through the Christian calendar.  This year, we still have over three weeks until Ash Wednesday!  It feels like a reprieve!  I plan on sending out another E-Pistle at the end of the month to cover Lent, so I won't spend much time on the subject, except to ask you to please sign up for helping out during the months of March - June, including Ash Wednesday (March 6 - 2 services).  Thanks!

Have you had an epiphany?  The word means that you have come to a realization about your life, or about the Church, or about GOD, that is new, or different than what you had thought before.  I've been talking from time to time about God turning things upside down (God does that a lot!).  And it's not just about expanding the Covenant with the Jews to non-Jews.  It's also about our own spiritual understanding about our place not just in the kingdom of God but also in the kingdoms of this earth.  The Gospel is not limited to some kind of heavenly reward for good behavior - it is about the need for making sure that the kingdom of God is known in our lives and lifetimes, on the earth  That's our job.  That's the epiphany we are offered today.

Much love and many blessings to you all!

Faithfully,  Evelyn