Our Roll Down Justice! Series offers us the opportunity to examine racial justice as a spiritual discipline. The NH Council of Churches, in their new values statement, affirm that such efforts are part of our soul work as followers of Christ:
"We work to be a united voice that dismantles systemic oppression and builds a more just world in God's name. We acknowledge the severe impact and systemic nature of White supremacy and combat it as an essential practice of our faith."
Even as we acknowledge that Christ calls us to equality, liberation and justice-making, we realize that discussing racism makes people defensive, triggers shame, and drives us into our corners. And yet, we've come to understand that given this country's current rancor, no work is more critical for us in building the beloved community, the "kingdom of God" Jesus proclaimed.
The international bestseller The Anatomy of Peace, written from the perspective of two businessmen seeking a way to handle conflict–one Jewish and one Muslim–has been helpful in the work of developing a heart of peace. In relationships with those with whom we disagree, we need to be able to see the stories we tell ourselves about racial differences, we need to examine why things remain segregated and what makes us so fearful of one other. These are vital conversations we're promoting to develop our own white racial literacy.
In our Wednesday night Lenten class on McKibben's memoir, The Flag, the Cross and the Station Wagon, the six of us recognized how difficult this work is and how much of our beliefs are consequences of our past and our surroundings. But we're committed to open minds, curiosity, and compassion with ourselves and one another. In our class standards we agreed that:
"We are a work in progress and we will all get this race thing wrong, say things based on our biases and prejudices that we have not fully thought through, but that doesn't make us bad people. In fact, being willing to have a conversation around America's founding principles, its assumptions and challenges is a brave thing (and I would argue patriotic thing) to do."
It is also an essential practice of our faith and the perfect spiritual journey for Lent. Join us on Sunday mornings for this important work.
Have you ever just been overwhelmed in worship and needed to "reset"? Perhaps you had a coughing fit or heard a hymn that reminded you of someone you love who has died? Maybe the pew just felt uncomfortable. Many adults have these experiences and excuse themselves to the Narthex--the space through the doors at the back of the sanctuary--to sit in the easy chairs, grab a sip of water or a tissue, and to recover themselves a bit. Then, when they're ready, most folks return to their seats in worship.
In an effort to be increasingly welcoming to all people, a Cozy Corner will be added to the Narthex to accommodate our little ones, too. There, they'll have the ability to sit in child-sized seats, pick up a sensory item from the basket, or just rest and reset themselves before returning to worship.
We look forward to this way of more broadly welcoming our little ones and their families to the Main Street UMC community.
Come visit us on Saturday, March 11th at our table at the Senior Center,
as well as to support other community vendors.
Sunday, March 12th, we will have a table set up in the Vestry to shop from.
Hear from our Bishop, Peggy Johnson, as she shares this three-part Pre-Lenten devotional series.
ATLANTA — The United Methodist Committee on Relief continues to work with its humanitarian partners to aid earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria. UMCOR has released initial solidarity grants to International Blue Crescent and Forum for Development Culture and Dialogue to help provide shelter, food and first aid kits to those who have been displaced. Winter weather and a cholera outbreak are complicating the response.
MARCH 23, 2023 DATE MOVED - AGAIN! NEXT PLANNING BOARD HEARING
Pastor Kristy and Nancy Long have continued to attend visibility events coordinated by GSOP to educate the community about the asphalt plant proposal for Temple Street. This plant will be harmful to the many neighbors near the site, who will be subjected to pollution, noise, and a significant increase in asphalt truck traffic on pedestrian routes. The Planning Board hearing has been tabled again until March 23rd.
We would appreciate those who are willing to write letters to the planning board to please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are willing to speak against the plant at the next meeting (at this time both zoom and in person are available), please reach out to Pastor Kristy for more information on how to do so and what criteria are most important to the Planning Board.
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