How do you say you’re sorry?
I remember getting into an argument with a roommate on a trip. One night he stumbled in late, and instead of letting me sleep, decided to jump on my bed in a whole-hearted attempt to scare me. Needless to say, I was quite shaken up. The next day, I told him how angry I was about what he had done. He said he was just goofing around, he didn’t mean anything by it, and it wasn’t a big deal. It was for me, and his inability to simply admit the facts of what had happened tore us apart. We’ve never been the same since.
I’ve often thought how different it would’ve gone if he had just said to me: “I didn’t mean to scare you, I thought it would be funny, but I can clearly see now that it wasn’t. I didn’t mean to cause you harm, but I can see that I did. I’m sorry.” At the very least, I would understand that he saw things from my side. That would’ve helped.
When the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Task Force got to work in January 2021, the end goal wasn’t to end racism. The goal was to start a conversation around our history as a church, and to be a place where we can ‘repair the breach’ to use Isaiah’s words. That means coming to terms with our history.
This Sunday, on Trinity Sunday, at both our 7:30 and 10:00 AM services, we will name in the prayers of the people, those people of African descent who received the sacraments of baptism, marriage and burial from our church, but these services did not take place inside our church. This is perhaps a first step, or a next step after participating in the Trail of Souls in 2014, to remembering our past not through rose-tinted glasses, but clearly and honestly. By remembering who we were, what we did or didn’t do, we are more able to grow into what we can be, and what we are called to be by a God who called us each out of slavery into the inheritance of Jesus Christ.
Trinity Sunday is about relationship. Let’s build a new relationship with our history, with ourselves and with all those we serve.