With all that is going on in the world, we need a Sabbath break more than ever, and here is our offering to the general conversation. Everyone does what they can do at the moment. Some march. Some reflect. Some take action. Some work in the difficult areas of their heart. The conversations around race will continue on throughout the summer, there is much to come to understand. But let us begin to reflect and consider the way forward. No matter what, it is hand in hand with Jesus. That is the way forward for us. Every blessing for the journey.
Spiritual Practice of the week: Listen and Obey
Begin to rethink the story. . .yours, and the worlds. . .
On Being with Krista Tippett, in Conversation with Eula Biss, 'Talking about Whiteness'
You can’t think about something if you can’t talk about it, says Eula Biss. The writer helpfully opens up lived words and ideas like complacence, guilt, andopportunity hoarding for an urgent reckoning with whiteness. This conversation was inspired by her 2015 essay in The New York Times, White Debt.
From Waging Non-Violence, People Powered News and Analysis:
‘The conversation is the protest’— how Black Lives Matter forced us to imagine a world without policeMomentum organizer Nicole Carty discusses how the movement built consensus on racial justice and the strategy needed to make the goal of defunding police a reality. Eric Stoner, June 10, 2020
And from the amazing Fellowship of Reconciliation here are two articles worth looking at:
The Souls of White Folks: On Reparations in the Church
Amanda Hendler-Voss May 1, 2019
Honoring the righteous rage, agony and despair of this global uprising
Following the senseless killings of George Floyd and so many other Black civilians, we need fundamental policy changes focused on reparative justice and healing.
Emma Jordan-Simpson June 3, 2020
We will be resuming our study/practice this coming Friday, June 19th. Please join us as we read through this wonderful teaching on the HOW of being compassionate. It is challenging, but particularly in our current culture,
absolutely imperative to work through.
Friday at 7 pm
Practicing Compassion, Frank Rogers Jr., Living Compassion. Andrew Dreitcer
The book is called 'Practicing Compassion' but I will also be working with a similar book, 'Living Compassion'. They are similar, one is more ecumenical, the other is particularly Christian. They are practical books. They tell us HOW to be compassionate - and it is not always an easy business.
Meeting ID: 826 7178 8158
Jesus was in the business of transformation.
And the practice of compassion has that power.
Please join us on Friday as we come to understand, and practice, this simple, straight forward path that is a profound part of the Christian tradition, but it not in any way limited to those within it.
So much going on in the news around the world since we spoke last, amazing what can happen in three weeks. The world seems to have imploded, ignited by a collection of incidents exposing the deep vein of racism that runs rampant, and calling all white people to re examine their on going collusion to exclude, to marginalize and to perpetuate violence against those who are deemed lesser by virtue of skin colour. We have much to examine, much to consider, much to reflect upon,
and much to change.
Below and on our website I am offering various resources for examination written by trustworthy sources who are more able to address these issues than I am. I will continue to do so throughout the summer as our local municipality seeks to examine the racism in our own community and how we might best eradicate it. This must begin with understanding, so the more you can read, the more you can understand, the more questions you can bring to the table for discussion, the better.
As always, I draw your attention back to the instigator and centre of our faith, Jesus, and his treatment of people and his way of being. Before Christianity was born, he was living and teaching a way of being that did not exclude anyone and saw all people to be of wondrous value.
So should we. So do we, who call ourselves Christian.
Call to Worship
A poem for Papatūānuku – Mother Earth by Ngāti Hine/Ngāpuhi writer Nadine Anne Hura, and
recently shared by Jacinda Ardern,
Prime Minister of New Zealand….
Rest now, e Papatūānuku
Breathe easy and settle
Right here where you are
We’ll not move upon you
We’ll stop, we’ll cease
We’ll slow down and stay home
Draw each other close and be kind
Kinder than we’ve ever been.
I wish we could say we were doing it for you
as much as ourselves
But hei aha
We’re doing it anyway
It’s right. It’s time.
Time to return
Time to remember
Time to listen and forgive
Time to withhold judgment
Time to cry
Time to think
Remove our shoes
Press hands to soil
Sift grains between fingers
Time to plant
Time to wait
Time to notice
To whom we belong
For now it’s just you
And the wind
And the forests and the oceans and the sky full of rain
Finally, it’s raining!
Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a koe
This sacrifice of solitude we have carved out for you
He iti noaiho – a small offering
People always said it wasn’t possible
To ground flights and stay home and stop our habits of consumption
But it was
It always was.
We were just afraid of how much it was going to hurt
– and it IS hurting and it will hurt and continue to hurt
But not as much as you have been hurt.
So be still now
Wrap your hills around our absence
Loosen the concrete belt cinched tight at your waist
And we will do the same.