June 19th: Devotional 28
Thank for for choosing to commit to reading watching, and praying through this Pentecost to Juneteenth devotional series. It is no small commitment and we are grateful that so many of you signed up. Having been inspired by what you studied during this devotional series, you may want to figure out what comes next.
We are inviting you to consider what you can do not only in your own lives but also collectively to help dismantle supremacy. This means paying attention to not only your own actions, but the behaviors of institutions to which you belong and to policies being instituted in our schools, local, county, state, and national government. Remember: White supremacy is more than just individual racist actions. It is a whole system of beliefs, actions, and policies intended to make sure one group of people maintains advantages and privileges in society. Did a group of folks from your church do this study? Will you be meeting together to discern how your congregation might act together in dismantling white supremacy?
As we said at the beginning of this devotional series, you will want to do some research about who is already working in the arenas that you feel called to. Who, in your area, has already been doing this work and how can you support their leadership? Are there bills in the legislature that could use your support? Some places to start learning here in Maine are:
Wabanaki REACH: https://www.mainewabanakireach.org/ (The Anti-Racism Resource Team will be hosting a REACH event later this summer or early fall. Keep an eye out for more information in communications from the Conference.)
Maine Equal Justice Project: https://maineequaljustice.org/
Maine Initiatives: http://maineinitiatives.org/
Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition: https://maineimmigrantrights.org/partners-members/
SURJ Central Maine: https://www.facebook.com/centralmainesurj/?fref=ts
We’ll be leaving this blog series up on the website for a while. You are welcome to go through it again or share it more broadly in your church. If you’d like one final activity, especially one that invites you to examine how white supremacy has even shaped how we imagine Jesus to look, read the article and study the images linked below.
We don’t actually know what Jesus looked like but certain images of him have become so well known that people assume it’s what he looked like. Read this article about how certain images of Jesus, usually depicted as a white man, became popular: https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/06/25/how-an-iconic-painting-jesus-white-man-was-distributed-around-world/
Now, spend some time studying these images of Jesus mentioned in the article:
Do any of these pictures stand out? What catches your attention? Can you imagine seeing these images in your church or in your Bible? Could you commit to including more accurate and diverse images of Jesus in your sanctuary or art on your bulletins or on your website?