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I am struggling.

I’ve been struggling – in many ways. Here’s one that I offer to you.

I had a really difficult time in drafting the Village newsletter this week. For those that do not know, I am the administrator for The Village and as such I help manage the Instagram account for @Villagers_Online and I send the weekly newsletter. Normally, the hardest part about sending the newsletter is rounding up the various content from different people. Today, though, it was harder to actually push send. In fact, as I am writing this, I have yet to send it out to your inboxes.

Why? Because the newsletter says nothing from the church about recent events concerning Black lives in the United States, aside from Matt’s post on American Gods, an individual’s effort to get the conversation going – which I am grateful for. There is no statement of solidarity, no resources for those who want to learn more. To anyone who reads it, the newsletter is business as usual (considering there is a global pandemic…).

Why is that causing me to struggle? Because I know that once I hit send, a newsletter that does nothing to mention the death of George Floyd or the fight against racism is deflating to those who are doing the work of making themselves uncomfortable right now (I know many of you are), those who are saying out loud that they are going to try to do better. It does not give hope to those who want to believe that Jesus cares about the experience of oppressed people in the United States.

I also feel that a newsletter that fails to mention any of the recent events is a signal of complacency. It will not make uncomfortable those who wish to completely remove themselves from the struggle against white supremacy. It is similar, in my opinion, to saying that Jesus does not concern himself with these matters – these matters that sting so deeply.

So, what am I to do? For the record, I have not been specifically told not to share posts on Instagram from the Elders, nor have they instructed me not to share resources.  I also know that the elders are engaging in difficult conversations and not shying away from them. I want to respect the elders and their time to reflect and pray. I believe that they are considering what is best for the church. So for now, I hit send on the newsletter and I post this blog, speaking only for myself as a way to reconcile the struggle I am experiencing… or perhaps the shame.

Please know that this post is hard for me to publish – do not imagine me typing visciously away at my keyboard; it is difficult to be so vulnerable.

For those asking themselves, “What would Jesus do?”, I offer this article: https://sojo.net/articles/jesus-was-protester

And to quote Andre Henry in this blog post, “There is a time to come to the table and there is a time to flip over tables. God, grant us the wisdom to know what time it is.”

 

6 Comments

  1. I repent that I have stood silent this week on our church’s website this week for fear of causing division. Unity for the sake of peace in light of the racism and marginalization that members of our church frequently experience is not unity- it’s silence. I repent of my silence. I love you, sister and I long to stand publicly with you. Tu lucha es mi lucha y quiero estar a tu lado.

    Reply
  2. I repent that I have stood silent this week on our church’s website this week for fear of causing division. Unity for the sake of peace in light of the racism and marginalization that members of our church frequently experience is not unity- it’s silence. I repent of my silence. I love you, sister and I long to stand publicly with you. Tu lucha es mi lucha y quiero estar a tu lado.

    Reply
  3. I love your voice and your leadership. Thank you for speaking despite discomfort and for a call to for specific and substantive action. Here with you .

    Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing this Jessica. Well said. Business is not as usual and that needs to be reflected in our conversation both online and in person.

    Reply
  5. If anyone wants a practical way to contribute to the cause, one way to do it is through the Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund, which is an organization that pays bail for people who are forced to stay in jail only because they are too poor to pay to be released. It is an issue that disproportionately affects the black and Latino community. You can read more on their website https://watchtucson.com/

    Reply
  6. Jessica thank you for your words and vulnerability. Kelsea thank you for your resource to give to. I repent too of my silence of not knowing what to do. Black Lives Matter to me and I want to live that.

    Reply

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