Thursday, July 9
Will You Join Me on a Five-Month Journey/Retreat?
I invite you to join me on a journey to greater knowledge and a deeper understanding of the issues of our day.
Will you commit yourself to a “Five-Month Retreat?”
Will you accept a challenge to read, reflect, and pray over a variety of issues that are affecting our lives and our society in these days?
Since the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis several weeks ago, there has been a torrent of unresolved issues that have once again taken center stage and are demanding attention in our society.
Our news headlines are filled with so many inter-related topics, and we see and hear many “talking heads” arguing their points of view, not discussing, not trying to create a common understanding that will be helpful to a diverse society, but debating, in a fog of who is right and who is wrong, with the objective not being to create a common understanding, but simply trying to glory in who wins the argument.
These issues are inter-related, but it is, in my mind, very important to not “lump” them together. They must be understood separately but in the larger context of our society:
Systemic Racism…George Floyd and many others whose lives were taken/destroyed by police in a variety of cities across our Nation…Black Lives Matter…Police Brutality…the Confederate Flag…Removal of Statues of Confederate Generals, St. Junipero Serra, Christopher Columbus, George Washington…
Thomas Jefferson…Protestors…Looters…Land Rights of the Native Americans and Broken U.S.A. Treaties...Prison Reform…LGBTQ+ Communities… “History is written by the Winners, but what about those who were defeated and still live in our midst; is there not a Shared Historical Narrative… is our History a ‘White-European’ History only?...”
What frightens me at the present moment is that there is an assumption that if someone is on the side of one of the issues, they are the same side of all the issues.
If I am on the side of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, then I am also on the side of the looters who are destroying businesses or other properties… if I believe in a “Shared Historical Narrative,” then I am on the side of destroying all monuments and statues that do not reflect that narrative. And the list goes on…
This becomes all so easy: “It is us against them.” This is the easy way out!
I can so easily say: “I am not a racist.” And then I am absolving myself from any commitment to look deeper into the various issues that are now surfacing.
The really difficult path to choose is the willingness to look at all these issues individually and then to see their interconnectedness…
This is so much more challenging…but I submit, this is what Jesus would do, and as a Disciple of Jesus, this is what I must do, and I ask you to do the same!
So here is the challenge: Will you join me to be responsible for three “pieces” a month for the next five months, to view or to read, and then to reflect and pray upon over time? It may be a book, an article, or a video presentation…
Each month you will receive three “pieces” to pray and reflect upon.
There will be no immediate interaction among ourselves.
I would want you for the five months to quietly reflect upon the information that you will receive and then, over time, hopefully, see the connections between the issues. Read, reflect, pray over, and make your written notes and comments that will be shared after the five-month Journey/Retreat in a gathering that will take place in January 2021.
I ask for this because today we live in an instantaneous world in which one reads or views something and then one wants/needs/is expected to give an immediate response.
We have lost the “art” of taking time to reflect and pray over issues/situations before making a response.
We have lost the notion of meditation and prayer before responding.
So what I am asking from those who are committed to join me in this journey, is that, when you receive the information that I will be sending you, that you read, reflect, and “store” this information.
When we all have received, reflected upon, and prayed upon this information, we will gather in January to begin to have a discussion.
My main objective is for us is to allow this “information” to be received, and then allow it to sink into our thought processes, into our consciousness, and after it has been “stewing in the crock pot” for five months, we will be ready to have faith-filled discussions.
If you would like to join this journey, please email me (
) with your name and email address.
I will be collecting names until the end of July.
In August, I will begin sending out one piece at a time through the next five months. There will be a total of fifteen pieces.
My hope, also, is that we, who are joining in this effort, can be a witness to other Parishes in our Diocese.
I will share with the Diocese what we are doing to create a more perfect union, and a world/society that better reflects the “Reign of God.”
May this inspire other Parishes to do the same.
Please join me!
I need your support and your strength!