A Word from Laura: What is Our Work?

What is our work?

In this week’s passage from Matthew, Jesus’ words mean the disciples have to ask themselves this question. I ask myself this question constantly these days, as my work in so many ways looks different, even from day to day. 

These last few weeks, as with many of you, I’m realizing once again just how much anti-racism work there is to be done.  It’s work of concrete actions in my life and in our church.  (This week our anti-racism group has done some great work of putting together resources!)

And it’s work of deep soul-searching, coming to terms with how deeply my soul has been shaped by a faith tradition that operates according to the values of white supremacy – white supremacy meaning not just the KKK, but a culture where the norms/ideals/what is considered good value whiteness.  It’s work of bringing to consciousness what often is left assumed or unspoken.

As I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, this is a moment for our church. As we look to what is next for our church, no matter how we identify racially, this work, because it shapes all of what we do, will be our shared work. It’s not going to happen all at once, and it’s going to be small, intentional steps on a longer journey. 

As we consider where God is calling us to what is next in worship, to make staffing decisions, to connect with each other and to engage in mission, we need to consider our church culture and how our own unconscious values play out in how we do things, both formally and informally. I’ve been sharing this resource, Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture in an Organization, as a starting point. It has helped me recognizing how I have participated and benefited from white culture, and I plan on using it with our Session, our Deacons and other groups as we reflect on who we are and what we do.

I believe we’re going to need to do some really good listening to each other and encourage you to show up on Sunday afternoon for the listening session hosted by members of the anti-racism group – keep reading in the email for more information.

I realize that for many of us these days, work is exhausting, confusing or all-consuming.  The thought of doing more “work” is not exciting.  But as I’ve begun to see your leadership engage the work, I’ve watched them find new energy and commitment.  It’s because it’s transformative work, and it’s not just the work of one person.  It’s work of the Spirit, calling us to live the life God has in store for each of us and for all of us together.

What is your work?  I look forward to worshiping together, as we explore our shared work.

May you know the work of God’s Spirit in your own life,