New Race and Reconciliation Book Discussion Group Forming

This past fall, in the eight weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, a group of 15 members of our St. Paul’s family participated in a book study, using the book Waking Up White by Debbie Irving. Written by a woman who identifies as white and who was raised in a community and culture that was mostly white, this book explores the issues of white privilege and systemic racism and tells her story of a growing consciousness. Like many of us, Ms. Irving was an adult before she became aware of the inequities that are built into our society and how they have continued to keep Black Americans from sharing in what many describe as the American Dream.

Discussing this book together led us to new insights about our own unconscious attitudes and the ways in which we participate in an unjust system, albeit unknowingly many times. Our awareness was raised and we were given food for further thought.

This book discussion was yet another step for our parish towards fulfilling the mandate of the national church to “Become the Beloved Community”. This mandate came out of the 2015 General Convention and is a call for the church to be a leader in healing the wounds that divide our society, with racial healing being at the forefront because of its pervasive and long-lived history.

This spring we would like to have another book discussion, using The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone, a prominent black theologian. This group would begin after Easter and probably run for six to eight weeks. We also would like to hear from others in the congregation about ideas you might have that will help our community step into the work of racial healing in and intentional and prayerful way. To share ideas, or for more information, please contact Dona Wylie.