GRACE RACIAL EQUITY TEAM
DAY BY DAY WITH GRACE: JANUARY 2021
Please join Grace members in listening to and reflecting on Martin Luther King, Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The letter is dated April 16th, 1963.
The letter was written in response to eight white clergy who criticized King and his actions in support of racial justice. As we live this chapter in the struggle for racial justice brought on by the murder of Mr. George Floyd in our congregation’s home city, let us look back for wisdom to challenge us, guide us, and hold us accountable to act for racial justice.
From January 1, 2021 – January 18, 2021, a daily reading of a portion of the letter read aloud by a Grace member was emailed as part of a daily devotional series. On January 18th — MLK Day — a recording of the entire letter read by a collective of Grace members was sent (see the video above). These readings are brought to you by the Grace Racial Equity Committee.
Who are we?
The Grace Racial Equity Team is composed of members of our church who expressed an interest in exploring ways to address systemic racism in our community at large through education and action steps in our own congregation. We have been meeting monthly since the beginning of 2016. We welcome new members—bring your ideas for actions and education!
What is our mission?
Grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Grace Racial Equity Team seeks to lead in:
- Educating the Grace University community about racism and awareness of white privilege; and
- Identifying and carrying out action steps that will help to dismantle the racial status quo, both in our congregation and in the wider world.
What do we actually do?
Monthly meetings provide opportunities to explore how we can expand the Grace community’s awareness of racism. Our goal is to provide at least one activity or event for the congregation each month. Here are some examples of activities:
- Three teams from Grace participated in a local weekend retreat, Journeying Toward Justice, with over 20 area churches.
- Presented an adult forum at Grace—“Unpacking Your White Knapsack”.
- Group visit to the St. Paul Science Museum to see the exhibit “RACE: Are We So Different?” Discussion afterwards was facilitated by a museum curator.
- Read The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone during Lent.
- Group trip to see “I Am Not Your Negro”, a powerful film about James Baldwin’s observations on American race relations. Discussion followed at a local restaurant.
- Group trip to see “Girl Shakes Loose”, a coming of age musical at the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul.
- Read and discussed Waking Up White by Debbie Irving in May and June 2017.
For more information, please contact Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres at firstname.lastname@example.org.