Discussions on Racism – Wednesday nights at 7pm
Just a reminder to join in the discussion Wednesday night about racism. The topic of racism can be uncomfortable, but I want to encourage everyone in the church to come and be a part of the discussions. Know that joining the conversation means you care enough to be part of the solution. Taking part in the discussions will help all of us learn to communicate the love of Christ with our words and actions effectively. The more we learn and grow together, the better our world can be.
Contact [email protected] for login information.
If you aren’t able to make it to the calls, you can use the information below during your personal devotion time or for family discussion:
We will start with an opening prayer.
Then we will watch Meaningful Conversations about Race, in which Rev. Hooker outlines elements that hinder and help fruitful dialogue on issues of race and traces how myths about race define how we function in life including work and school in the form of institutional racism. Rev. Hooker says by avoiding the hard conversations about race, we short-circuit any meaningful dialogue that can result in transformation in our lives and across the country.
After the video we will discuss the following questions:
1. Dr. Hooker lists three main arguments made by people to avoid talking about race and racism. How do these arguments reflect your own lived experience or perspective life?
2. How do negative feelings affect our willingness and ability to discuss the tough topics of racism, racial injustice and white privilege?
3. In his dandelion-blue grass analogy, Dr. Hooker asserts that our systems are not neutral, but shaped by biases, tradition, histories and practices, which is one reason that dandelions are considered weeds to be destroyed, while bluegrass is prized as creating a beautiful lawn. Consider the following list and discuss how our perceptions of race and racial identity influence what we consider as good/positive/appropriate/traditional appearance of:
- A dating/marriage partner
- A hardworking person
- A safe neighborhood
- Beautiful hair and skin
- A reliable world leader
- A cute baby
- The “all-American” couple
- The kind of pastor I want in my church
- A Sunday school teacher
- Artists’ renderings of Jesus, Mary or Moses
- A stained-glass depictions of Jesus as “The Good Shepherd”
- A person I would vote for as Mayor of my town
4. What are drawbacks of safe space in dialoguing about race and racism?
5. Dr. Anderson tells his story at end of the video concerning race and racism? Any similarities or differences in our own stories?
6. How does your current local-church experiences in worship, outreach, mission and witness prepare you to be in community with people of other races? What are some ways you are willing to work in your church to begin building ongoing relationships, Christian community and space for honest dialogue across racial lines?