New Book Study for St. Peter’s

Last month I shared with you my personal views on racism in the world. I have found that I needed to become more diligent to study my own participation in systemic racism.  One of the most important questions that brought me to this need for study is the realization that racism is one of the main manifestations of sin in the world.  I had many people ask me if I thought racism is an issue throughout the world and is racism linked to the human condition.  My reply to both questions would be “Yes!” I have recently been convinced that Biblically the great conflict between Jews and Gentiles is also a conflict rooted in racism.  Racism by its very nature separates us from each other, while Jesus was dedicated to bringing people together in the Kingdom. Jesus consistently broke down the barriers that separate us.  Whether it was the Jew/Gentile barrier or the male/female barrier or the sinner/saint barrier, Jesus wants to bring us together in love, compassion and faithfulness.  Nazi Germany is a perfect example of the evils of racism made manifest. The two books I have been reading are “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving and “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.  I am in a book study at Christ Lutheran led by Pastor Dave Nagler studying the “Antiracist” book and I am proposing that at St. Peter’s we study the “Waking Up White” book. “Waking Up White” is a book that helps us look at who we are as a white person in the world, a person who has been conditioned to look at racism through the perspective of being someone who has power and privilege.  I admit that what the book talks about are topics that took me by surprise, but that rang true in my memory.  The book reminded me of what I assumed to be the truth and had no idea had racist repercussions.  The book has 46 chapters and 250 pages.   In other words, short chapters with a single perspective.  Each chapter ends with a question that asks us to share our thoughts and experiences.  If you enjoy the fellowship time on Sunday mornings, you will enjoy this book study.  The book is an exercise in self-discovery and pealing back the obvious that may surprise you as accepted racial prejudice in your own life. Women and men will meet the second and fourth Saturdays in September via Zoom from 8:30am to 10:00am for this book study.  Thank you for considering this time for self-discovery and perhaps plant the seeds of healing in a world where racism must be confronted and defeated to bring Jesus’ Kingdom to our world. Pastor Rick