Posts by Communications

District News & Announcements – August 2020

District News & Announcements

August 2020

“District News and Announcements” is a monthly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Church of the Brethren in the Northern Plains District.  District Leaders, Commissions, Committees, and those doing special ministries share information on programs and activities.  Local churches share news and invitations.  Send submissions by August 25th for inclusion in next month’s newsletter to Hannah Button-Harrison, Director of Communications, communications@nplains.org.

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In this issue

  1. In Our Prayers: Phyllis Kingery Ruff (corrected version)
  2. Northern Plains Holds Historic 2020 Virtual District Conference
  3. Northern Plains District Board Reorganized for 2020-2021
  4. Camp Pine Lake Virtual Camp Report and Updates
  5. Postponing Sabbath Renewal Time, Continuing Work for Justice and Peace
  6. Moderator Moment – District Conference Moderator Paul Shaver
  7. Holiness in our Midst
  8. Leadership Development Musings
  9. Congregational Newsletters

Quick info

Calendar of Events | District Staff & Leadership Contacts | Documents & Resources

Banner photo: Around 50 people joined together on Zoom for the fellowship time after the Friday night worship service, including insight session leader Frank Ramirez, UN award winner Rebecca Dali and her husband Samuel Dali.  Send in your photos for future newsletters!  Email communications@nplains.org.

Holiness in our Midst: Session 95

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XCV: ON MIRACLES

Story Circle Prompt: When did God resolve an issue or make “a way” in the wilderness for you? Remember the circumstances of that miracle…
This question about miracles has origins in a story…

One morning in early April of 2002, I was awakened suddenly in a guest house on the outskirts of Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria. The day before, our traveling group had experienced one of the city’s famous “worst traffic jams in the world.” Yes, I was glad to be alive, but also dead tired when I went to bed that night. I was accompanying then Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Moderator Paul Grout and his wife Dorothy as they bore witness to denominational mission sites. I remember three things about that morning: 1) I woke up to giggling children peeking around the curtains in my open-air windows, a whole neighborhood of them greeting me warmly. Quite a surprise! 2) The shower was very, very makeshift. 3) Most memorable, though, was a plaque on the wall that read, simply: He will make a way where there is no way.

The sign recalled Isaiah 43:18-20:

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen… (New International Version)

Every day on that trip, we witnessed our way being smoothed through small miracles. Since then, whenever I have encountered seemingly dead end situations, I have asked God to make a way.

To the question of a personal miracle:

As many around me are losing their jobs, I remember back to September of 2009. My position as coordinator of mission connections for the denomination in Elgin, IL had been eliminated in February of that year. Even with the aid of a headhunter, neither local positions nor similar ones with other denominations or agencies were available to me. Other denominational and ecumenical colleagues were in similar circumstances in the Great Recession. My online search for jobs back in Iowa came up empty. (I had expected to stay in Illinois.) That month I had exhausted my financial resources. My weekly Centering Prayer group surrounded me with love, prayers, and song— even providing food and essentials when I did not know where to turn. They kept hope alive and prayed for God’s will, even laying hands on me, as I sought my next place in the world. Together we trusted through tears (theirs and mine) that God would make a way.

My miracle came on the morning of Sept. 10 with an audible insistent voice saying, “Call Martha…now!” Martha Kash and her husband Norb owned a bed-and-breakfast in Colo, IA; I had over-wintered at their place during a previous season of transition. Martha answered immediately when I called. I explained my desperate plight. She said: “Oh, we’re getting ready to go Arizona for the winter. Why don’t you move back to Iowa and house sit till April? That would solve a lot of problems for us!” She said she had to go and get ready for Garden Club that morning. “Just call back this afternoon and let us know when you will be here.” The rest is history.

Caring for their home came with so much that I needed for a clean transition:

A showcase farmstead, a photographer’s dream, with plenty of time to heal and space to entertain.
A sunroom, which they designed after a visit to a Frank Lloyd Wright home, that overlooked perennial gardens in the distance and bird feeders placed mere feet from the windows.
No rent or utility payments for five months.
Phone and internet access.
A garage and access to their car.
Free food: A full refrigerator, freezer, kitchen cupboard, snack drawer and basement pantry (including home-canned jams, jellies, pickles, garden vegetables and fruits).
Free storage space, in their barn and spare rooms.
Access to this fine couple’s neighbors and community connections.
Birthday flowers and frequent calls and notes of encouragement.

Folks from my church community in Illinois moved my belongings to Colo. “We have a “ministry of moving,” they said. Within days of arriving in Colo, I got my previous job back working in a residential care facility with profoundly disabled adults. In short, loving friends helped me leave my old place well. New ones invited me to join their church and re-establish district connections that continue to this day. Through a single phone call, miraculous in its timing, He provided a way where there was no way.

 

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:
Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the question: When did you experience a miracle? Describe the events surrounding it.

FOR GROUP STUDY:
1. Read aloud Session XCV.
2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

 

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

District Conference Updates – Meeting Links and Videos

DISTRICT CONFERENCE 2020
July 31,  August 1 and 2, 2020
Moderator, Lucinda Douglas

One body together, helping each other!
Galatians 6:2     |     1 Corinthians 12: 12-31

 

District Conference Videos

New videos for district conference are now available using the links below and by going to our website – nplains.org/dc2020

Insight Session:
Frank Ramirez – Brethren in the Age of Pandemic: A century ago and today
If the video doesn’t play right away, click “open in browser”

Children’s Message – from the Haren family

 

Using Zoom to Participate in District Conference

The 2020 District Conference will use the interactive Zoom platform which allows a group of individuals to see and hear each other online much like Skype.  District Conference will also include pre-recorded videos posted on nplains.org/dc2020 and available to view by clicking their links.  There will be two worship services, an insight session, a play, and a children’s moment.

Download & Install Zoom: Zoom can be downloaded and installed easily and is available for Windows PC, MAC, iOS (Apple), Android, and Blackberry devices. Click the appropriate link below to download Zoom onto your device.

Practice Sessions: There are three practice sessions before District Conference for you to practice signing into a Zoom meeting and using this platform.  Everyone is strongly encouraged to participate in one or more of the following practice sessions:
July 28, 10:00 a.m. – Click here to join meeting
July 29, 1:00 p.m. – Click here to join meeting
July 30, 7:00 p.m. – Click here to join meeting

Main Sessions: 
July 31, 7:00 p.m., Worship – Find pre-recorded video at nplains.org/dc2020
July 31, 7:45 p.m., Fellowship after Friday Evening Worship  –  Click here to join meeting
August 1, 7:45 a.m., Business Session – Click here to join meeting
August 1, 12:45 p.m., Fellowship & Fun Time – Click here to join meeting
August 2, 8:45 a.m., Insight Session Discussion, – Click here to join meeting
August 2, 10:00 a.m., Worship – Find pre-recorded video at nplains.org/dc2020
August 2, 10:45 a.m., Fellowship after Sunday Morning Worship – Click here to join meeting

To join meetings with a cell phone or landline:
Phone In: +1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 870 2614 2909
Passcode: 807119

To join meetings with one tap mobile (for Smartphones):
+13126266799,,87026142909#,,,,,,0#,,807119#

If you need help, contact one of these tech support persons:
Tim Button-Harrison, de@nplains.org, 641-485-5604
Paul Shaver, revpaul.ivestercob@gmail.com, 319-423-9034
Hannah Button-Harrison, communications@nplains.org, 515-460-5365

If your connection to the meeting is lost, for whatever reason, just try connecting again.

Tips for Using Zoom

  • If you are using an external camera and/or microphone be sure to plug them in before opening the Zoom application.
  • Use a headset if possible.
  • Only 1 microphone and speaker system should be active per physical location to avoid feedback.
  • Mute yourself when you are not speaking. Once you are muted, press and hold the spacebar to speak (unless we are in a business session), release when finished.
  • Use the “Chat” feature to ask questions without interrupting the speaker. Or raise your hand in the “Participants” bar.
  • To view everyone in the video section (limited to 24 at one time on computer, less on tablets and iPads) press the “Gallery View” located in the upper right on a MAC or PC. (iPad swipe left to view other participants)
  • To change the view to “Speaker” (whoever is speaking) click in the same area to switch between Speaker and Gallery views.

 

Reminders Ahead of District Conference 2020

  1. The digital version of the District Conference Booklet is now available.  You can access it here.
  2. Please REGISTER for our VIRTUAL DISTRICT CONFERENCE at www.nplains.org/dc2020  or mail your registration form to District Conference Support, Ida Van Westen, 21284 Knauf Ave, Reading MN  56165.  Your registration ensures that we can provide info how to log-on to our YouTube worship services on Friday evening and Sunday morning and to join in our ZOOM business session and fellowship, fun/social gathering times.Online Registration – You can register here instead of using the packet

    District Payment Website – For donating and ordering printed DC booklets

  3. Registrations are due July 22.
  4. There is no charge to register for District Conference
  5. We will accept your offering/donation on the District website www.nplains.org/dc2020  or mailed to Financial Secretary, Rhonda Bingman, 820 Raven Lane, Madrid IA 50156
  6. WATCH THE WEBSITE AND YOUR EMAILS FOR ANY UPDATES AND FOR LOGIN INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED.
  7. Login practice times are listed in the schedule.  This is for you to learn how to use our YouTube and ZOOM platforms for our conference.
  8. For problems when logging on for conference, please contact:

    Hannah Button-Harrison: ph/text 515-460-5365 or communications@nplains.org

    Paul Shaver: ph/text 319-423-9034 or revpaul.ivestercob@gmail.com

    Tim Button-Harrison: ph/text 641-485-5604 or email de@nplains.org

***Stay tuned for an update next week with links to the Friday evening and Sunday morning worship services.***

Reminders Ahead of District Conference

Reminders Ahead of District Conference 2020

  1. The digital version of the District Conference Booklet is now available.  You can access it here.
  2. Please REGISTER for our VIRTUAL DISTRICT CONFERENCE at www.nplains.org/dc2020  or mail your registration form to District Conference Support, Ida Van Westen, 21284 Knauf Ave, Reading MN  56165.  Your registration ensures that we can provide info how to log-on to our YouTube worship services on Friday evening and Sunday morning and to join in our ZOOM business session and fellowship, fun/social gathering times.Full Registration Packet – To be printed, filled out, and sent by mail
    – Cover Letter
    – Registration Form
    – Schedule
    – Service Projects

    Online Registration – You can register here instead of using the packet

    District Payment Website – For donating and ordering printed DC booklets

  3. Registrations are due July 22.
  4. There is no charge to register for District Conference
  5. We will accept your offering/donation on the District website www.nplains.org/dc2020  or mailed to Financial Secretary, Rhonda Bingman, 820 Raven Lane, Madrid IA 50156
  6. WATCH THE WEBSITE AND YOUR EMAILS FOR ANY UPDATES AND FOR LOGIN INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED.
  7. Login practice times are listed in the schedule.  This is for you to learn how to use our YouTube and ZOOM platforms for our conference.
  8. For problems when logging on for conference, please contact:

    Hannah Button-Harrison: ph/text 515-460-5365 or communications@nplains.org

    Paul Shaver: ph/text 319-423-9034 or revpaul.ivestercob@gmail.com

    Tim Button-Harrison: ph/text 641-485-5604 or email de@npllains.org

DISTRICT CONFERENCE 2020
July 31,  August 1 and 2, 2020
Moderator, Lucinda Douglas
2020 THEME

One body together, helping each other!
Galatians 6:2     |     1 Corinthians 12: 12-31

** Watch the District web site www.nplains.org/dc2020  for some Children’s messages that you can share with your youngsters!

MODERATOR SERMON

Since she is unable to visit in person, our 2020 District Conference moderator, Lucinda Douglas, has recorded a sermon to share with all congregations in the district.  Please click the image above to view and share Lucinda’s message!

District News & Announcements – July 2020

District News & Announcements

July 2020

“District News and Announcements” is a monthly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Church of the Brethren in the Northern Plains District.  District Leaders, Commissions, Committees, and those doing special ministries share information on programs and activities.  Local churches share news and invitations.  Send submissions by July 25th for inclusion in next month’s newsletter to Hannah Button-Harrison, Director of Communications, communications@nplains.org.

Trouble viewing pictures and videos? 
Click here to view the newsletter in your browser.

TO PRINT – go to browser view
Windows: right click + Print OR [Ctrl] + P
Mac: [Ctrl] + click + Print OR [Command] + P

Quick info

Calendar of Events | District Staff & Leadership Contacts | Documents & Resources

Banner photo: Minnesota Brethren – Carol Wise, Gordon Hoffert and Kathy Mack – joined the Interfaith Silent Clergy March on June 2nd in Minneapolis to bear witness for justice in the wake of the death of George Floyd.  Photo taken by Kim Hill-Smith.  Send in your photos for future newsletters! Email communications@nplains.org.

Online Worship and Resources

Church of the Brethren, Covid-19 Pandemic Response, listing financial resources and grants: https://covid19.brethren.org/

Bethany Theological Seminary, Ministering through Covid-19: https://bethanyseminary.edu/covid-19-resource-list/

Northern Plains District pastors and congregations, online worship and devotions.  Go to https://www.facebook.com/NorthernPlainsCoB/ and “like” the District’s page and check it periodically for updates.  Do the same with Facebook pages of our congregations:

COB@Ankeny

The Church on Northland (Cedar Rapids)

Dallas Center

Fairview

Hammond Avenue (Waterloo)

Hilcrest Baptist/Brethren (Fredericksburg)

Ivester

Iowa River

Lewiston

Libertyville

Living Peace (Sioux City)

Open Circle  (Burnsville)

Panora

Panther Creek

Peace  (Council Bluffs)

Pickwick  (Ottumwa)

Prairie City

South Waterloo

Denominational listing of congregations posting worship online:

http://www.brethren.org/news/2020/church-of-the-brethren-congregations-worship-online.html

Holiness in our Midst: Session 94

Holiness in our Midst

SESSION XCIV: ON LETTING GO

Story Circle Prompt: What may you need to let go of to grow holistically? 

This question is one of several suggested for reflection as part of the Compelling Vision process, a time of intentional discernment happening on congregational, district and denominational levels in the Church of the Brethren. The guiding statement for the process reads, in part: “Join us in reclaiming a new passion for Christ and helping set a course for our future as the Church of the Brethren serving Him in our communities and in the world!” The goal for the process, according to the Vision Statement, is to “…develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.” The denomination is calling us to a new level of holistic peace and inclusivity. 

Before adding my voice to the larger Compelling Vision conversation at institutional levels, I am exploring the “letting go of” question on a personal level. In the enforced quiet of the Covid-19 crisis, the crying need for a more just world plays out on the daily news. I want to respond to the times, but only after a period of personal discernment. 

What do I need to let go of to be an effective disciple in the coming world? My list so far:

  • I need to let go of fear, so I have more room for faith.
  • I need to let go of idealizing the past, so I can embrace the imperfect present.
  • I need to let go of my passive contentment with my privileged status, so I can act on my holy discontent about inequalities locally and nationally.
  • I need to let go of demonizing (however subtly) persons who think differently from me, so I can welcome all as brothers and sisters in Christ.

What stands between you and deeper commitment? What patterns do you need to shed?

 

FOR PERSONAL/JOURNAL REFLECTION:

  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the question: What may you need to let go of to grow holistically as a renewed passionate disciple of Christ? What may we need to let go of as a district to be more innovative, adaptable, and fearless? What may we need to let go of as a denomination to better serve our communities?

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XCIV.
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt. 

FOR GROUP STUDY:

  1.   Read aloud Session XCIII.
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

 

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

Special District Conference Announcements

District Conference 2020

Our 2020 Northerns Plains District Conference will be a virtual conference this year on July 31 – August 2!  We will be using the technology platforms of ZOOM and YouTube. The planning committee is planning a meaningful program of worship, an insight session, along with our worshipful work business session and some fun, fellowship time!  We are still asking you to register for conference this year.  For you to take part in conference, we need your email address and your phone number along with your mailing address so we can share needed information with you. We are very aware and sensitive about those without email and/or computer. We are doing our best to accommodate these persons.

Full Registration Packet – To be printed, filled out, and sent by mail – DUE JULY 22
– Cover Letter
– Registration Form
– Schedule
– Service Projects

Online Registration – You can register here instead of using the packet

District Payment Website – For donating and ordering printed DC booklets

Registration and other District Conference information may be found at nplains.org/dc2020/.   Please check back for updates and information of how to log-in to District Conference events.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

District Conference Support, Ida Van Westen
phone/text 507-360-7387 email: dc-suppport@nplains.org

Northern Plains District Conference

July 31,  August 1 and 2, 2020
Moderator, Lucinda Douglas
2020 THEME

One body together, helping each other!
Galatians 6:2     |     1 Corinthians 12: 12-31

Moderator Sermon

Since she is unable to visit in person, our 2020 District Conference moderator, Lucinda Douglas, has recorded a sermon to share with all congregations in the district.  Please click the image above to view and share Lucinda’s message!

District News & Announcements – June 2020

District News & Announcements

June 2020

“District News and Announcements” is a monthly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Church of the Brethren in the Northern Plains District.  District Leaders, Commissions, Committees, and those doing special ministries share information on programs and activities.  Local churches share news and invitations.  Send submissions by June 24th for inclusion in next month’s newsletter to Hannah Button-Harrison, Director of Communications, communications@nplains.org.

Trouble viewing pictures and videos? 
Click here to view the newsletter in your browser.

TO PRINT – go to browser view
Windows: right click + Print OR [Ctrl] + P
Mac: [Ctrl] + click + Print OR [Command] + P

Quick info

Calendar of Events | District Staff & Leadership Contacts | Documents & Resources

Banner photo: Masks made by Elizabeth Bechtol from the Church of the Brethren at Ankeny, for friends, family, and the community.  Photo taken by Elizabeth Bechtol.  Send in your photos for future newsletters! Email communications@nplains.org.

Call to Prayer and Learning and Action

Tim Button-Harrison, District Executive
de@nplains.org

On May 25, in South Minneapolis, a 46 year old black man, George Floyd, who worked as a security guard, was arrested on suspicion of passing a $20 counterfeit bill, and after he was handcuffed, while being held in custody, several officers held him to the ground while one officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck for a period of nine minutes, restricting his air supply, as he repeatedly cried out “I can’t breathe” and as onlookers cried out on his behalf, and continued kneeling on his neck even after he became silent and lost consciousness.  The police reported that he died due to a “medical incident” in a “police interaction.”  But the truth was captured on video by the onlookers and shared on social media.  On May 26, people started gathering where this horrific event happened, organizations and officials began to denounce the police action, and by afternoon, the four arresting officers were fired, and by evening the protest had begun.  On May 29, Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter.

The killing of George Floyd is not an isolated incident but part of a larger history and cultural system of racial prejudice, fear, hatred, violence, injustice and inequity in our society.  Related events have recently occurred in Georgia where citizens acting as vigilantes killed Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was jogging, in New York’s Central Park where a racialized call was made to police concerning Christian Cooper, a black man who was bird-watching, and in Des Moines on May 16 when a black man, DarQuan Jones, was attacked and nearly killed in an incident being investigated as a racial hate crime, and the list of black bodies harmed and black lives lost goes on and on.  

Over the past week, from that place in South Minneapolis where Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd, protests and rallies have spread across the country.  The planned protests and rallies have been nonviolent, and in many cases, police and public officials have united with protesters to condemn racism and inappropriate police force.  In other places, nonviolent protests have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets, amplifying anger, frustration and despair, leading some to break windows and loot stores.  And while rally organizers have worked diligently to keep protests on message and nonviolent, young white male extremists (some are call them manarchists or simply white knuckleheads) have been leading out in property destruction to encourage rioting and discredit the protests.  It is a volatile mix and we need to be more quick to examine the root causes than we are to judge those who are expressing their anger, frustration and despair, hearing again the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said, “I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air.  Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots.  And in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.  And what is it that America has failed to hear…?”   (Listen to the speech here.)

The events of the past week are most certainly an urgent call to prayer, especially if prayer leads us to greater humility, listening, love, acknowledgement of wrongs, and commitment to repair those wrongs and do what is right.  This kind of prayer leads to hard work and change.  It has led me to change who I am primarily following and listening to.  In the past, almost all of my guides and teachers, those to whom I had granted authority to lead me, because I trusted their knowledge and experience in areas religious, theological, moral, academic and professional, where white people.  And for almost all of my life, my guides and teachers had been mostly white people.  I was certainly not deficient in having a white understanding of life.  But I was certainly deficient in understanding life from other points of view.  So I’ve dedicated myself to listen to and learn from and be guided by black and indigenous and latinx voices and leaders.   And I have done this not alone or in isolation, but in community and alongside many of you who are working to do the same, who are likewise adjusting your focus and attention.  With encouragement and support from some of you, I’ve become part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).   I decided to go on the 2019 Waterloo Freedom Bus ride from Iowa to Alabama, blacks and whites together, retracing the events and places of the Civil Rights Movement.  And I’ve become involved in the Poor People’s Campaign.   

I’ve had a basic understanding of the Black Civil Rights movement.  But five years ago, I couldn’t tell you much about some other things I now consider essential and required knowledge.  And I’m still just scratching the surface.  Here are some very important things I’ve learned about, or learned more about, just recently, and I’ve found some helpful links you can follow to go deeper in your own learning.  I’ve learned about the Doctrine of Discovery, West African slave fortresses, the Middle Passage, the developing American culture of white supremacy, the amassing of wealth in this nation from slave labor and seizure of lands from Native Americans, the life and work of Frederick Douglass, the events surrounding the mass hanging of 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, MN, the rise and fall of Reconstruction after the Civil of War, the slavery loophole in the 13th amendment, Jim Crow laws, convict leasing, Ida B. Wells and her anti-lynching campaign, the coming together of former Union and Confederate soldiers in the US wars to annex Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, the racist aspects of those wars, and the rise in attacks on black communities by returning white soldiers after those and all subsequent wars, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the restoration of the Confederate flag and the erection of Confederate Memorials, the writings of W.E.B. DuBois, the flood of Northern advertising and media depicting African Americans as deficient, ridiculous and dangerous, “The Birth of the Nation” (the highest-grossing film of the silent movie era), the Great Migration, sundown towns, redlining, mass incarceration and the environmental justice movement.  I now understand these are some of the facts and realities we need to know and comprehend, particularly as white Christians in the U.S., if we want to truly understand where we are now, and how we got here, and where we can and need to go from here. 

There are other helpful resources.  The 2019 Ministers and District Board Workshop was on race and racism and led by Michaela Alphonse, Pastor of the Miami First Church of the Brethren and Josh Brockway, Church of the Brethren Director of Discipleship Ministries.  On May 31, Josh offered these recommendations:

There is also a great resource called “Talking About Race” that was just released by the National Museum of African American History.

Friends in Christ, I am committed to the deep prayer and learning and action that I believe we are being called to.  Will you pray and learn and work with me?