Weekly Rector's Note: The Value of Community In Troubling Times
This last week I had the opportunity to spend a day with the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing for a Dismantling Racism training.
At the beginning of the class, participants from across the country were asked to share how they were feeling coming into the class. One of the words repeated over and over again was “hopeless.” Just days after the racially motivated shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, and knowing it wasn’t an isolated event but, as one journalist put it, “one thread in a web of anti-Black hatred,” there was an understandable sense of futility around what we were coming together that day to do.
However, over the course of the day –– through sharing our stories, deepening our understanding of racism, and having an opportunity to share Eucharist –– the mood changed drastically. So much so that by the end of the day the words people gave to sum up how they were feeling were “connected” and “hopeful.”
As I think about what could account for such a drastic change, it wasn’t that we had found a way to escape, avoid, or sugarcoat the problem. If anything, we were only increasing our awareness of it. I believe the difference is that we were coming to it from a place of community and faith: holding the challenges together, holding each other up, holding it before God.
There is such value in our coming together in this way. It was clear last Sunday in our engaging discussion of the Sacraments, or the joyful celebrations of Communion, or the Parish Hall filled with people having a great time at the Mustard Seed fundraiser. We may not be able to change some things around us that we wish we could, but we can change how we ourselves are experiencing these things. Our relationships with God and each other help.
This Sunday, I will talk about the peace that Jesus gives us and why it's so important right now. Deacon Maureen will be with us for our Episcopal 101 class in the Parish Hall at 9:00am. We will have a reception after the 10:15am service thanking Miss Laura for her ministry working with children and families at All Saints. And our Music Director, Dr. James Denman, will be giving an organ talk for our Pre-Teens and anyone who might be interested. The group will meet during the Coffee Hour and then head over to the organ.
Tags: Weekly Rector's Note