February is Black History Month

This designation for February officially began in the United States in 1976. As Third Church continues to expand its awareness of the contributions of Black Americans, we will be highlighting this commemoration during worship this month. We will also be taking time to share more about our Anti-Racism efforts at Third Church as we listen to and learn from the voices around us in our effort to become better allies in the movement toward respect, equity and justice in our community and nation.

We make the following promises to ourselves and our community:

  1. to more aggressively confront racism,
  2. to seek advice from those whose lived experiences are different from most of ours,
  3. to take action to become effective allies in the fight against individual and systemic racism, and
  4. to work collectively to reimagine and rebuild our community.

– from Third Church’s Anti-Racism Project
adopted by Session, September 2020


Your Anti-Racism Team is so grateful for the time and energy of more than 40 of our leaders who have explored resources to help discern how each committee and board will listen and learn in 2021.

You, too, have access to this material. Each “Congregational Update” email features an article, scripture passage, video, or podcast from our resource collection to help guide you on your individual journey toward becoming antiracist. Here are resources we lifted up this month:

Listen:
View Professor John A. Powell’s The Invention of Whiteness (5 minutes) then reflect on when you first became aware of race.

Learn:
Read Genesis 1:1–5, 20-31 and consider the idea of dominion. “To have dominion over” can be interpreted as “to have stewardship of.”  What is our domain?
Read about how our denomination struggled to articulate its commitment to Black Lives and about how a pastor of color experienced White supremacy at our 2020 General Assembly.

Act:
Sharpen your listening skills through this Active Listening exercise.

  1. Find a partner.
  2. Ask your partner: “What is your impression of Third Church’s (or our community’s) efforts to become anti-racist?”
  3. Listen and feed back to your partner what you heard your partner say.
  4. Ask your partner to describe your ability to listen. 
  5. Write down your partner’s description of your ability to listen and list three ways you can become a better listener.

Do you have an anti-racist article, video, or podcast you would like to share? Send material to Beth.