Mission: to Amplify Compassion by amplifying marginalized voices in our community, including those marginalized by their race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or any others searching for equity. We will help challenge our congregation to amplify justice, mercy, and humility to create a more compassionate church.

Reflection – Helen Standley

After Rev. Dayson’s visit with us, a dear friend and Circle K member called and asked what I thought of his sermon. I told her I had no problem with it, nor did I hear anything that rattled my senses or made me uncomfortable. Why? It quickly came to me that my answer goes back to a conversation I was having with a family member several years ago related to my volunteer work. Our conversation reflected vastly opposing viewpoints, and finally, I said, “you don’t understand; this is the reality I’m living in.” My reality is that I live in two parallel and yet very opposite universes.

First is my “bubble” universe. It is my safe haven, a place where I am accepted and loved by friends and family. I feel peace and contentment when I am here. I have food in the cupboard, a roof over my head, can put gas in the car, and go wherever and whenever I want. I am able to pay our bills and even have a little leftover for extras. I feel safe living in my neighborhood and know the majority of my neighbors. I am grateful!

The second is my “GAL” universe. In this universe, I see how racism impacts marginalized people in our community. I could share the horrors that children have seen or endured with you or share with you the impact of joblessness, drugs, mental illness, low self-esteem, etc., on an entire family. When I am in this universe, I feel their pain and am starkly reminded of the unfairness and struggles they live with every day.   

I believe we first must have awareness before any change can occur. As Pastor Michelle mentioned in her Reflection, “Rev. Dayson did what black prophetic preaching sometimes does, which pushes us well beyond uncomfortable into an inward struggle.” If I only live and stay in my comfortable first universe, I may hear the words being spoken but may feel that they are not meant for me, and it’s not my problem. It is intentional that I also live in my second universe because it’s a “right in my face” reminder that racism is real, and yes, I am part of the problem.  I know that I cannot change or right all the wrongs in this world, but as Andy Stanley (no relation) has quoted, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” I’d like to believe that if everyone took this quote to heart and made it an integral part of their daily lives, my two opposing universes might one day become ONE.

Suggested Resources
Watch: Why “I’m Not Racist” Is Only Half the Story by Robyn DiAngelo
Read: Caught Up In God by Willie Jennings
Listen: 74 Seconds Episode 7: Trial, Day 5
Check Out: The Levine Museum of the New South

Join A Tu Lado - a ministry opportunity through the Migrant Assistance Project in which houses of faith partner with an immigrant family and walk with them on their journey through the immigration process in the U.S. If you are interested in joining an A Tu Lado team at Dilworth UMC please reach out to Pastor Cade for more information.

Join the Amplify Book Club as we read and discuss "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson. If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, click here to purchase a copy of the book, and please reach out to Pastor Cade to express interest.

Are you interested in sharing a reflection in the Amplify newsletter? If you feel called to share a story, testimony, or devotion related to diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation, please reach out to Pastor Cade. The Amplify Team is open to all members who feel passionate about shaping our conversation and working for justice in and through Dilworth UMC. Please contact Pastor Cade to become a part of this important ministry.
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