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Letter from Liz: June 18, 2020

Friday is Juneteenth.

So we start here:

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Ps 33:5 ESV

“The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.” Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Tomorrow night, Friday June 19 @7.30pm we will join as a community on zoom to discuss the movie Just Mercy and the issues it raises. Watch the movie. Join us! (You may also appreciate this TED talk by Bryan Stevenson).

And then ...

Collectively we learn, listen and lament: Here’s a good article which ends with some helpful suggestions about having conversations about race. Caroline shared this litany with us at noonday prayer on Tuesday, so helpful for guiding our prayers. Consider joining our book group this summer which will read The Color of Compromise together.

Already read that and want another recommendation? I am reading My Grandmother’s Hands. My doctoral thesis was on the power of touch in pastoral ministry, and the way our bodies remember is deeply fascinating to me (have you read The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk?). My Grandmother’s Hands is another excellent book on ‘trauma and body-centered psychology’. It’s written by Resmaa Menakem a secular trauma psychologist, explaining the history of trauma in people groups over centuries, not just the response of an individual. It's fascinating.*

And finally, when I attended the first class of the Little Lights Race Literacy 101 course last night - excellent material taught by experienced and wise people - I was delighted to see a number of you there too! They are signing up future cohorts for later in the summer - consider signing up! So many ways to deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.

And then we launch: over the summer we will be making suggestions from time to time of ways we can respond to the racism around us, but will you let us know what you are doing? A couple of weeks ago I preached about ‘small things’. I would love us to help each other do ‘small things’ which move us forward in changing the world we live in, pivoting towards seeing more of the Kingdom of God now, here.

We will keep moving forward.

And, so, now. What’s new?

Well - not so much is new this week… but remember

  • You can sign up to lead or attend a House zoom group if you want to (NO pressure to do so - many of us are still much safer at home).

  • You can get ready for Prayers of the People breakout rooms this Sunday by reading up about Armenia - our country of the week.

  • And if you want to join Wild Wonder in the Park on Sunday - grab your BCP and a picnic blanket or chair and come and join in with family prayer @9.30am: bringing kids is not compulsory, but keeping a social distance and bringing a mask is!

  • You could also plan to join in with midday prayer next Tuesday or Thursday (noon for about 15 minutes), or Wednesday morning (7.30am for around 30 minutes); and you can access our communal prayer doc at any time: feel free to add requests for prayer, answers and verses.

Meanwhile, wash your hands, wear your mask, and remember your (literal) neighbors who are more vulnerable than yourself. Have you checked in on them recently?

So grateful for you all, please let me know how you are doing! See you on zoom@5pm on Sunday!


*It is not written from a Christian perspective so you may disagree with some of his ideas or suggested exercises. Read it with a Holy Spirit lens.


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