Lamenting Racism Elective
The Anti-Racism Team of Neffsville Mennonite Church is offering Lamenting Racism, a six-week series from MennoMedia during the Sunday School hour beginning on June 6, 2021. By means of video/journaling and discussion, the authors express the desire to “[Encourage] congregations to reclaim the lost art of biblical lament.”
To do so, “these pastors and theologians model a powerful way to pour out the fear, shame, grief, and rage of racism as we cry out to God in prayer. In the process, we will be transformed and motivated to reclaim hope and to act for a world shaped by God’s inclusive vision of love and blessing.”
Since journaling is an important part of this series, each participant is encouraged to have their own participant's copy. These are $12 each. We are planning to order a number of these. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to pay for their own copies.
For additional information, please talk with Alan Miller or visit the MennoMedia website at https://www.mennomedia.org/
The Asian community feels the sting of the shootings in Atlanta on March 16, 2021. Our Anti-Racism Team express their own pain and lament as 8 more people have lost their lives in a violent manner. A Response and a Lament
Anti-Racism - Why Bother? A new article from team leader, Allan Miller, may be found HERE.
White Privilege??? An article from team leader, Allan Miller, may be found HERE.
Anti-Racism Resources that we have read, watched, and listened to are found HERE.
Podcast on Racism: Lead Pastor, Hunter Hess, and Director of Music and Worshiop, Rashard Allen, sat down to talk about racism in our culture. Listen to it HERE.
The Space: Exploring Racism
Monthly Zoom session, November, 2020 through March, 2021
How do we follow Jesus and his teachings in troubling times? What would it take to bring about racial healing within ourselves and with others we perceive as different from us?
Have you ever wanted space to explore questions like this with others in a setting that felt safe yet stimulated your personal growth and understanding? Would you like to invest some time in learning more about racism and its influence in society? And is it your desire to allow God to guide us in the midst of this interaction?
You are invited to participate in monthly Zoom sessions for exactly this type of reflection and discussion. Co-facilitated by Marilyn Peters and Rolando Santiago, members of NMC’s Anti-Racism Team, the sessions will be held on the first Monday of the month for five months, from November until March, from 7:00-8:15 p.m. The first session will be on Monday, November 2nd. Register ahead of time HERE.
Anti-Racism Team Statement
What is the problem?
Many of us are completely oblivious to the systems that benefit us, while they exclude (or greatly limit) the opportunities for persons whose skin is not white. We did not sign the contract, but we are enjoying the benefits. We, the Anti-Racism Team, see our work as an invitation to participate in some long overdue, but very necessary (and perhaps very difficult) conversations.
What are the Team goals:
- We commit ourselves to ongoing self-education, learning about the history and the ongoing systemic racism of our country.
- We commit ourselves to ongoing self-reflection, exploring our own past, how it has shaped us, and the choices we get to make today and into the future.
- We seek to provide both resources and opportunities for the hard, necessary discussions about race and white privilege.
- We will seek to identify specific ways in which the Neffsville Mennonite Church can address the issues of systemic racism.
- We invite others to be part of this ongoing discussion and growth.
How should we respond?
- Pray! How might God be inviting us to be agents of reconciliation in these difficult times? How are we being called to extend God's kingdom? How might we learn from our sisters and brothers of a different color?
- Learn about the violent, deliberate actions of white people designed to control, intimidate and suppress black people in this country.
- Attend workshops and participate in discussion groups. Watch for announcements of upcoming events.
- Sign up for the daily A History of Racial Injustice calendar from Equal Justice Initiative - https://calendar.eji.org/sign-up
- Watch videos and/or movies. Listen to podcasts. Click on the Resource List button near the top of the page.
- Have genuine, caring discussions with friends of color. Ask about their hopes and dreams. Give them space to discuss their own experiences of racial discrimination.
As followers of Jesus, we believe that all of God's children have incredible value and worth. We see our work as guided by Paul's letter to the Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
We look forward to the day when we can participate in John's vision described in Revelation 7:9
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
Neffsville Mennonite Church Anti-Racism Team
Darlene Hein, Phil Hostetter, Lowell & Ruth Jantzi, Alan Miller (Chair), Marilyn Peters, Rolando Santiago, Rashard Allen (ex officio), Hunter Hess (ex officio)