The last week of horrific, heartbreaking and unsettling events have shifted the ground underneath all of us. The protests and the uprising around the world including Minneapolis in response to George Floyd’s and other’s murders at the hands of police and the generational suffering of racial injustice begs the question,  What are we as a predominantly white congregation in Northfield, MN to do? 

Listen. Listen to God in prayer. 

Listen to someone who looks different than you. Listen to someone who experiences life differently than you.

Learn by listening to or reading the stories of someone who looks different than you.

Learn by reading books and articles about systemic racism, white privilege and supremacy, our blindspots, the stories of marginalized and disenfranchised persons, oppression and injustice, doing the work of justice and being a bridge to healing. 

This is a place for us to begin. It is our work now to begin our own education to recognize and acknowledge the privilege and part we have played in remaining silent or overlooking our blind spots in seeing our brothers and sisters of all colors and experiences in God’s image. Not all of the books have been read before recommending them to you. Nor am I endorsing one book over another. These books have been compiled with the recommendations of our sisters and brothers in Christ including, Marty Baylor Reed, Jerome Sellars, Pastor Abe, Emily Quinnell Tolly. This is a list to get you started. These books are excellent resources. This is a list to begin our discussion and our engagement in standing with and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

I am a beginner just like you. Because I am white and have not lived the experiences and idignity our own Emmaus brothers and sisters of color have, I have limited understanding. God has called me and you to open our hearts by opening our ears to listen and our eyes to read and to see. Please join me in listening and learning.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Susan Quinnell