Don’t miss worship this Sunday. Don’t ever miss worship, but particularly not this Sunday. Don’t miss worship if you live in Virginia and you’ve endured the news of our governor and attorney general in blackface and our lieutenant governor accused of sexual assault. Don’t miss worship if you’ll never live in Virginia but you’re longing to know how Jesus would respond to overt racism or sexism.
Last fall, Western’s session and deacons encouraged John and me to put together a group that represents the wide diversity that has emerged in Western’s membership over the last few decades and that we hope will grow in the next few. We are calling that group our Intercultural Vision Team; as Sara Mutalib Williams put it, “recognizing the impact of unconscious bias, we’re working towards unbiased consciences.” Spoken like a true Presbyterian, I should add, given that we recognize “God alone as Lord of our conscience”, in Calvin’s words.
Don’t miss worship this week, because as the Intercultural Vision Team coalesces, Rev. Denise Anderson preaches this Sunday. If the Presbyterian preachers were rock stars, Rev. Anderson would be at the top of the charts. Her messages and prayers always leave me hungry for more, and with the feeling that Jesus walks with us every step on journeys for justice. Her words, written and spoken, have the power to convict and compel.
Rev. Anderson is Coordinator for Racial and Intercultural Justice in our denomination’s national office and has been on the front lines of working for racial justice in our churches and beyond. You may want to preview her work on her blog, soulascriptura.com, or her commentary on the Christian Century website. Whatever you do, don’t miss worship. Join us on Sunday, as we at Western continue on our journey towards justice with Jesus.