This book by Robin Diangelo is the guiding framework for a new education opportunity at CGS. Do you feel defensive when someone suggests that you might be responsible for the oppression of black people? Do you wonder what your role in creating an equal society should be? Do you want to be open to and prepared for cross-racial dialogue?
We know that we are all simultaneously sinners and saints. But talking about our potential shortcomings is still not easy. Questions like these are difficult to answer with others and cannot be answered alone.
At CGS we hold one another's vulnerability with careful hands. In this community, we walk with one another on the journey of learning and transformation. We hope you will join us, assured that the goal is not to condemn one another but to grow.
Chuck Witschorik Jr. will be hosting an hour of education and conversation every night, for one week. We will gather at 7:30pm each night. We will meet Monday July 6 through Friday July 10. You can join us in one of two ways.
To join via video, click here: https://zoom.us/j/99088010575
To join via telephone, call 669-900-9128 and when prompted, enter Meeting ID 990 8801 0575.
You don't have to read the book to get something out of this class.
In fact, in many places, physical copies of this book are backordered for three or more weeks so you may not be able to. There are options if you are interested:
To buy a copy of the ebook click here.
To buy a copy of the audio book click here.
To buy a copy of the book we found one seller who has them - here. ,We also recommend this seller.
If you have questions about this class or would like more information about how to join and get connected, please contact Chuck W at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 510-684-4177.
For a preview of the subject matter, watch this interview with Robin Diangelo about her book:
by Susan Duran Council Member
Last week after dropping off bottled water and other supplies for our Safe Car Park guests, I remembered the church library was open and quickly decided to check it out. I have been dearly missing our local Willow Glen library being available for my weekly visit. I found a pile of books that were on a desk, either they were recently returned or had been donated by generous members. I came upon the book “Words to Love By...”.by Mother Teresa", which is based on interviews with her led by Michael Nabicht and Gaynell Cronin. They had spent several weeks with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India while producing a film there. I was intrigued and became determined to borrow it. Sorry, Paul Thomas, church librarian, I did not officially check it out, but I promise to return it soon!
I had been feeling very sad and depressed about the latest killing of yet another black person. When will all the violence, bigotry, bullying, and racial injustice ever end? I brought my heartfelt fears, questions, and wonderings to my Lord in prayer. While wrestling with the problems of our country, I never questioned my faith in my savior, but rather what should I do? How can I have hope? Sometimes when I am despondent, I seek out bible verses to reassure me and strengthen my belief. This time I searched “Words to Love By” to boost my dismal flailing spirit.
These are three short portions from the book that I felt were especially meaningful and relevant.
“Change your hearts... Unless we change our hearts we are not converted. Changing places is not the answer. Changing occupations is not the answer. The answer is to change our hearts. And how do we change? By praying.” (p.38)
“Prayer is joy. Prayer is love. Prayer is peace. You cannot explain it you must experience prayer. It is not impossible. God gives it for the asking. ‘Ask and you shall receive.’” (p.39)
“The fruit of prayer is a deepening of faith. And the fruit of prayer is love. And the fruit of love is service.” (p.44)
I have read and reread this short book over the last week and I have been reassured and comforted by its words of wisdom and God's spirit. No, I don't have all the answers to the ongoing problems of our nation, but I can show love to others. We are all made in God's image. I can continue to pray and work for peace, I can protest peacefully and work for positive changes in our government. I can serve others in my own way and try to be a light in the world. God through your never ceasing love, renew us and commit us to love all the people in the world and serve others.
Mother Teresa, Words to Love By... Mother Teresa, Notre Dame, Ave Marie Press, 1983.
“When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing.” It always hits me every time I hear this. This is the beginning line of the song “Home” from the musical, The Wiz. The song speaks of the desire to be back home, to the place where one feels secured, comforted, and loved. And being an immigrant here to the US, it took me quite some time to adjust to the new reality that this country will be my new home. I moved here from the Philippines 21 years ago to be with my parents, leaving behind the places and people that molded me for 32 years. The first 2 years were arduous - unfamiliar sights surrounded by strangers in a foreign culture and different challenges. I lived in San Diego with a relative while looking for a place to rent, and earning a living while working in retail. It felt like I was back to square one. There was a longing to be back to that place of security, comfort, and love. To be back home. But being a person of faith, I also knew deep in my heart that this was God’s plan for me, that this is a path God wanted me to take. So I trusted, and I followed. And with the new challenges came new opportunities. I got to explore new places and created new memories. I met new people and developed new relationships. And more importantly, I found my true self. 21 years later, home is here, with my husband, surrounded with dear friends, in now familiar surroundings. I sincerely felt God’s guidance along the way through those years. I’m certain right here right now is where I meant to be.
In one of the following Sundays, Keynote Vocal Group will be singing “Homeward Bound” by Marta Keen, in a setting by yours truly. In her own words, Ms. Keen describes the intentions behind this hauntingly beautiful work - “Finding your true calling in life; knowing that those who love you trust that you will return. I wrote this song for a loved one who was embarking upon a new phase of life’s journey, to express the soul’s yearning to grow and change.” With the things currently happening around us, we are all now facing a new reality, a more challenging stage in our journey. But as long as we find comfort and security in the love of our family and friends, trusting that God is guiding us forward, we know that we’ll make it through. Grown and changed, we’ll make it home.
This Friday at 2pm, Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer continues with their town hall series to minimize bias in our church. This week's town hall features LGBTQ+ voices including our own Pastor Manda. You must RSVP to watch this town hall live online. You can RSVP by clicking here.
You can see more on their facebook event page here.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 6:30pm via Zoom
Present: Jean Herriges, Michael Flanagin, Laurie Gaumer, Joe Shackelford, Susan Duran, Skye Gordineer, Petra Menard, Rachel Visscher, Jean Hope, Pastor Manda, Jerry Clark
Next council article to be submitted to Laura by June 9: Susan
Upcoming Council activity
Sunday, May 31: Congregational meeting
Tuesday, June 2: Council meeting
Tuesday, June 9: Council meeting
Tuesday, June 16: Council meeting
“Human beings must have hope. Without hope, there is no tomorrow, only a fear-ridden or boring present. Without hope, one lives in dread of what will come next, or is stifled with a meaningless life that is not going anywhere except to the grave.”
e just had a high holy day last Sunday – Pentecost. Usually these big Sunday festival days are the only ones that we Lutherans know about. However, we’re not so different from our Catholic siblings and our liturgical calendar also recognizes minor holy days – like the feast days of martyrs and saints. They usually fall on weekdays and for faithful people who rarely worship between Sundays, we easily miss them.
Last summer, during the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, all the voting members of our church established a new day of commemoration. The new feast day happens for the first time this month – on June 17th as a commemoration of the Emanuel Nine.
On June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina.
And five years later, we mark this martyrdom as our black, indigenous, & siblings of color still live in dread of what will come next, or are stifled with a meaningless life that is not going anywhere except to the grave. And this is exactly why we need this day of commemoration and repentance.
Those of us with the privilege of whiteness have yet to change our lives significantly enough to stop the murder of the people of color in our community. In our scripture we read over and over again that the process of transformation begins first with repentance – a complete 180 degree turn from the way things are now. So while we might desire for our communities to be transformed already, for us to love one another, live in peace, value diversity, etc., etc.,...none of that can happen until we all repent. It can’t happen until we all change our thinking and our behavior.
And that is hard to do.
I’m grateful that a portion of our congregation has begun to do that hard work together. I’m hopeful, that with the loving support of this faith community we can continue to do that hard work together which our siblings of color absolutely need us to do before they will feel welcome.
But I also know it won’t happen today. So for today, I’ll just ask you to practice one part, the confession. Print it out and say it before dinner with your family. Bookmark it on your phone and say it in front of the mirror. Use it as a guide to deep prayer or meditation. Bring it with you on your walks and hikes. Practice this repentance until you believe it. Other people’s lives depend on it.
Gracious God, we thank you for making one human family of all the peoples of the earth and for creating all the wonderful diversity of cultures. Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellowship and show us your presence in those who differ most from us.
Worship Resources for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 "Confession, Repentance and Commitment to End Racism Sunday" © 2015 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.