Friday, August 17, 2007

Yo, pray-ers out there: Anti-Racism Committee in NC (Episcopal Diocese of.North Carolina)

I've a request for those of you who engage in intercessory prayer.

Would you keep in your prayers the Anti-Racism Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina?

We have a day-long retreat tomorrow for a combination of prayer, planning, and business. I am facilitating it (I chair the committee) with the help of a few other members. Several folks can't be there because after all the calendar-tugging of last spring and coming up with the date that worked for everyone, now everyone can't make it. But we have a good core. And we have strong support and involvement from the Bishop and Assisting Bishop (whom I replaced as committee chair) of this diocese.

We also just lost our part-time staff person, whom we had just hired this spring. She has to resign for health reasons, fortunately not life-threatening, but this messes up some of the infrastructure she and I worked to build this summer (that's some of the stuff I don't talk about on-blog...) and this is putting an extra burden on the volunteers, though happily this same wonderful staffer has offered to give us a bit of help in the interim as she is able.

Since we just went through a staffing transition, this puts us in transition mode again and we do have work to do! This includes anti-racism trainings in the diocese, a new program of twinning congregations of different racial and cultural compositions, and some other projects. (The staff person and I have also been starting to build a blog so the committee can share resources internally and with others around the diocese.) Please pray for those projects as well and for the work of justice and reconciliation in a part of the country where not so long ago, human beings enslaved other human beings and owned them like property, and where the sequelae of slavery in the form of institutional racism still exist, as they do in church and society all over the U.S.

All this of course is coinciding with the beginning of the academic year at the college where I teach, with orientation week this week and the first day of classes on Monday, so I've been testing classroom technological equipment (nothing worse than walking into class the first day and trying to play a video or call up the course website and finding out you can't do it), checking on late arrivals at the bookstore, working on syllabi for my three very different courses (one of which I've never taught and is not in my field), reassuring an anxious parent of a new younger student, an anxious new adult commuter student with a mobility challenge, and an anxious returning student, and now I think I need to go reassure my own anxious self!

The Psalm for today's Morning Prayer had some strong nature imagery in it. (Birds! Owl, vulture, sparrow. Also bones, coals, grass, ashes.) Anyone notice?

4 comments:

johnieb said...

Certainly

Grandmère Mimi said...

Jane, prayers offered for your retreat.

janinsanfran said...

Hi Jane -- have you seen this remarkably clear description of how systemic racism works, despite our best intentions? Might be useful someday.

Jane R said...

Very good article, Jan, many thanks. I'll pass on the link to committee members in a set of resources a couple of us are putting together. (We're also starting a blog sometime in the next month.)

Thanks for your prayers, folks. We had a good retreat.