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Antiracism Ministry Update

The St. Luke’s Antiracism Ministry invites you to attend the next monthly meeting at St. Luke’s on March 22nd from 12:15 PM to 1:45 PM. Subsequent meetings will be held on April 19th and May 17th. At the February 16th meeting we discussed the following:

For St. Luke’s to understand and dismantle institutional racism, it is important for us to critically review and apply an antiracist perspective to the ways in which we operate as a congregation and as a church.

On February 16th we continued our analysis of the current welcome statement included in the weekly St. Luke’s worship program, raised a number of key points that ought to be incorporated into an updated statement, and discussed ways to potentially integrate antiracism into the building discernment process that is currently underway.  Prior to our next meeting, we will collectively add the main points that we would like include so that we can prepare to draft an updated welcome statement, and apply an antiracist perspective while we discern the physical location of St. Luke’s for the future.

In part to acknowledge that the the work of the Antiracism Ministry is that of the whole St. Luke’s community, we raised the possibility of hosting a one-day workshop on systemic racism that would encourage participation from the entire congregation and individuals outside of St. Luke’s as well.

Finally, we discussed Chapter 5 of “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, which described the “good/bad binary” framework, in which white people can categorize themselves as “good” and not racist instead of acknowledging that racism itself is encompassing and institutionalized. Accordingly, the author suggests that it would be more helpful for people to think of themselves as occupying changing positions on a continuum according to the work that they are doing or not doing in a given moment to interrupt racism.

On March 22nd, we plan to discuss Chapter 6, which is entitled “Anti-Blackness”. We encourage you to read it before the meeting considering the below questions as you read, as well as any other topics you wish to raise. However, please join us even if you do not have an opportunity to complete the reading in advance. Below are questions from Chapter 6 for consideration as you read:

  1. Why have affirmative action programs not changed racial outcomes?
  2. What does the author mean when she suggests that causing pain and suffering for black people rests on a sense of white righteousness?


Tentative Agenda for March 22nd:
Welcome: Name, Pronouns, and Check In (Ivan)
Review of Welcome Statement (Ivan)
“White Fragility” Discussion: Chapter 6 (Grant)
Action Items (Grant)
*Intentional 1:1 Conversations (Ivan)
*Congregational Roadmap (Ivan)
*Analyzing and Understanding Systemic Racism Workshop (Grant)
Closing Prayer (TBD)

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