The final words of a charge to me in my installation as Pastor and Community Minister of Rockville United Church were:
"I charge you to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.”
They are especially relevant today for all people of faith because there is no longer a sideline. “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” That’s a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer whose book “The Cost of Discipleship” was written in 1937.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer left Union Theological Seminary in New York City for his home in Germany and a ministry that led to his martyrdom by the Nazis. The German Evangelical Church that he served wrote to Protestant churches in America during the Presidential campaign in 2016 beseeching leaders to address the dangerous rhetoric and predicting the consequence of increased division, hate and violence.
Fortunately, we are hearing more voices afflicting the comfortable in order to be comforting the afflicted. Read the statements from our Faith Community Advisory Council and faith communities acknowledging the cruel impact of our silence, offering words of compassion and committing ourselves to strategic action.
Hopefully, the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and many other precious lives will convince us that we cannot be sitting on the sideline. “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Multicultural Dialogue on Racism and Bias - The Rev. Dr. Carol Flett,
Co-Chair of Faith Community Working Group, and 18 facilitators led Multicultural Dialogues on Racism and Bias with small diverse groups of Montgomery County residents. The Participant Manual includes guidelines, working definitions, tools and practices for dismantling systemic racism that can be used by individuals, families, groups, and faith communities.
Reimagining Public Safety:
Prevent Harm and Lead with the Truth
Resources from Montgomery County Chief Equity Officer
Books Recommended by FCAC Discussion Groups “Candid Conversations on Race”
Following four years of the dialogues on racism, the Rev. Dr. Carol Flett and 18 facilitators led Candid Conversations on Race using the following three books for learning how our racialized society affects all people. The team is considering how to revive the small group discussions virtually and assessing a fresh approach for physical meetings this fall.
Additional Recommended Reading
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