Dear Ones of St. Columba's,
What do you do to get ready? Do you have a routine that helps you get ready to sleep each night? I do. Mine includes tucking children into bed and curating their routine of stories, prayers, songs, and snuggles. Then I spend time with Andrew. We talk or we don't - sometimes we read side by side or simply hang out near each other. Eventually one of us says "time for bed," and that is that. On nights when I am out late at a meeting, or traveling, or when there is some other disruption to my bedtime routine I survive. But I can feel it when my head hits the pillow - I'm not as ready to sleep as I would have been. The same goes with getting ready at the beginning of the day - my routine of feeding children and myself, the daily ritual of making my coffee - I move through it without thinking much of it most mornings. But when I need to leave before the kids are off for school, or when my routine is otherwise disrupted I feel it. I'm not as ready for my day.
Lent is almost here, and Lent is our time to get ready. Not for sleep, or for a day ahead of us, but our time to get ready for Holy Week and Easter. It is a time to get ready to come closer to Jesus and move deeper into relationship with God. Lent is part of our annual routine of getting ready for our lives as Christian people, and our life as a Christian community.
There is much to be ready for, out there. One thing that I believe we need to get ready for, as individuals and as community, is the ability to talk to each other about things that matter, and that divide us. One of these things is race - here at St. C's we are striving to be a place that welcomes all people. If we are serious about this, we need to begin to learn to talk about race and racism. If we can talk about it, then we can share our experiences with each other, learn from each other, and get ready to be a community that truly worship, prays, loves, and lives in ways that welcome multiple cultures and races into our practice of the Christian faith.
So, this Lent as part of how we get ready to come close to Jesus, we are going to get ready to talk about race, together. I am inviting you to sign up for a Lent Community Group, where you will be put together with a few other St. C's folks. We will all read the book "So You Want to Talk About Race" - a wonderful starter for learning vocabulary and answering uncomfortable questions. We will talk about it in the Community Groups, which will meet together once a week for five weeks, beginning the first week of March.
I hope you will join me in this work, whether you are comfortable talking about race or not. Church should be a safe place to learn how to do uncomfortable things. We won't be perfect at it our first or second try, but the only way to learn is to begin. Let's do this together.
Talk to me if you have questions, concerns, or just want to know more. I would love to have conversations with you about this topic, and how we are getting ready to come closer to God together this Lent.
With care and gratitude,