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What We are Learning About Ourselves, Racism, and Social Justice

Racial and social justice is a strategic goal of our church and one of our three emphases is educating ourselves as a community of faith to better understand issues related to social justice.  Among the 40-50 participants in both the “Learn, Pray, and Act for Social Justice” class and the Literature Discussion Group, I invited a few of them to share what they are learning:

Participating in the group and engaging with the resources has deepened my understanding of just how personally and emotionally detached I have been from issues of race and the events that demonstrate ills of social injustice.  It has been mostly an intellectual exercise with insufficient heart.  Peter Murphy

To my shame, I have learned how little I know about the whole racial injustice problem.  I haven't paid attention to it.  I thought it was "not my problem".  This class showed me just the opposite - it IS my problem because I am white and privileged and subconsciously I am racist in thoughts and attitudes and of course, in my failure to act for racial justice. Judy Dick

The format has been very helpful as I learn and reflect on topics that are uncomfortable and sensitive. I am able to do the assignments of readings, videos, and recording in my own time and in my own way. I can stop and start or repeat…. I so love that my peers teach this class, and they are just as hungry for help in this anti-racism, social justice topic. I like how they constantly remind us, sincerely, that we are all learners, mistakes will be made, there are no right or wrong answers, and this is a safe place to share and be vulnerable. This has been proven every week while hearing some of the heart-felt sharing as well as seeing the tears. — Elaine Carlson

I've really enjoyed the book club and our discussions.  I've also been very impressed with the vulnerability of participants sharing about our own lack of understanding and experience of racism. The books have really instigated discussion around situations, language, and behaviors that many of us did not realize would be considered racist.  The breakdown of my own systemic racism that has been interwoven into my white upbringing and culture is difficult work, but much needed if I'm really going to be able to listen and understand the stories from people of color.  I need to "listen to understand," not "listen to reply."  — Aimee Studer

Three things I’ve learned: 1. That I know very little about the pervasiveness of racism in our country; 2.  That I am complicit in this racism by virtue of being born white; 3. That there is great suffering and anger going on in the Black community….  I feel encouraged that our church has started to tackle this because I feel we fail our Christian calling if we don’t.  – Rosemarie Gresset

To someone reluctant to engage in this process, I would say to them that I didn’t think I was racist until I started looking at my thoughts and actions.  As I looked at my past, how I was raised, comments I heard said around me … all of it influenced my thinking and behaviors.  I see how it is still present in me and I hope I can change and start to show respect and love to persons of color.Donna Murphy  


Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, Schedule

10:00 AM Interactive Worship via Zoom
Zoom Link for 10:00 AM Interactive Worship
Meeting ID: 813 7532 4243      Passcode: 579433


10:00 AM First Kids Sunday Christmas Celebration via Zoom
Request Zoom Link from Shawna
All kids, Kindergarten through 6th grade are invited to attend a Christmas Sunday Celebration (in place of our regularly scheduled Sunday zoom calls). A bag of goodies to be used for this celebration will be dropped off in advance of this event at your house!

11:30 AM Fellowship via Zoom
Zoom link for 11:30 AM Fellowship
Meeting ID: 973 7870 7245    Password: 709119


5:00 PM Candle Lighting via Zoom
Zoom link for 5:00 PM Candle Lighting
Meeting ID: 841 1764 5692    Passcode: 635663
Each Sunday of Advent, we’ll gather via Zoom to light the Advent candles and reflect upon their significance as we await the coming of Jesus.  Click here for the Advent Candle Readings & Scriptures.  With or without a wreath, you are welcome to join us for this candle lighting ceremony.
To use Zoom by phone for any Zoom call you may dial one of these numbers: 

+1 669.900.6833
US (San Jose)

+1 346.248.7799
US (Houston)

 For outside the US, locate your local number here.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  ~ Luke 1:30-33

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