Let’s be honest:
is not easy
. In the United States, our polarization, re-emerging hate groups and the failure to acknowledge systemic and cultural roots of racism point to the necessary work that remains. Racism is alive elsewhere too, as demonstrated by the increasing marginalization of indigenous peoples and migrants around the world.
God’s call to mission invites us to cross borders
literal and figurative
in order to create new hearts and minds. In this annual commemoration of Black History Month, may we re-examine history through the lens of individuals and communities whose experience has not been taken seriously. May we ask for the grace and strength to remove our biases and stereotypes that oppress some while privileging others. Let us pray for guidance to understand the hopes and fears of each cultural family here and around the world.
I am inspired by our missioners whose efforts to create a more just and compassionate world often go hand in hand with a deep commitment to foster restorative justice. In unique ways, each lay missioner
the individuals and communities alongside them contribute to peace and justice as they work to dismantle racism, classism, and sexism. From leadership training to community organizing, in our education and health care ministries, through dialogue and bridge-building,
seeds of transformation are planted.
As we commemorate Black History Month
and as we journey toward Lent
may we also seek unique ways “to loose this bond of injustice,” racism in all its forms. To quote Bishop Edward Braxton’s 2015 pastoral letter on the racial divide, “Faith in Christ, the redeemer of all people, urges us to overcome our hesitation.”
Peace and every good,