Dear friends:

In his recent review of the book Why Didn’t We Riot?, Ari Shapiro says:

“It wasn't the racist emails that bothered Isaac J. Bailey (pictured at right). Well, they bothered him — it was just that being a Black columnist for The Sun News, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he accepted that he'd get hateful messages.

It was his well-intentioned white colleagues who he found more exhausting.

"I actually stopped writing about race for several weeks just to see if I would get a tap on the shoulder from my white colleagues," Bailey says. "And as soon as I wrote about race once in two weeks, I would get those questions from them about 'why was I actually spending so much time on race?'"

It was a painful book for Bailey to write. "Mainly" he says, "because …..I never wanted to feel the way I feel now…it hurts so much to actually deal with these issues, especially with the people whom I loved for such a long time."

It’s such a difficult topic, which is one reason I don’t talk about race as readily as I probably should. I find it exhausting, a touch depressing, and, frankly, something I’m not particularly good at, though a bit more practice couldn’t hurt.

This week, I’m going to launch a three-week sermon series entitled "Guide My Feet As I Run This Race." Specifically, we’ll approach the topic of race from the perspective of faith.

  • What does scripture say about it?
  • As Christians, what is required of us on the subject of race?
  • How can we make progress and grow?

We’ll be fortunate to have guests, interactive sermons, and other service enrichments which should make the conversations rich.

As normal, we’ll also celebrate a baptism and observe other sacred events within our church family. You can prepare by reading this passage from Acts.

In the meantime, I ask for your prayers for our elders and staff leadership, that we would have the right balance of wisdom and courage as we chart our way forward. These are obviously un-navigated waters, and I’m so grateful to have each of you as partners on the journey. Covenant reminds me of the sign at the entrance to the Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C. which said, “On this boat are no passengers, only crew.”

I’m grateful to be on the crew with you.

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