The UCUCC Racial Justice Action team wants to share three important resources with the congregation this week. The first is a sermon by the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss III entitled The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery. It is a beautiful and moving cry of the heart. The best introduction to this is the one below by Jim Wallis, written for Sojourners https://sojo.net/articles/when-will-monstrous-become-unacceptable;
“This is the one. This is the sermon I would like you all to listen to this week. Many of you are hearing wonderful sermons and services virtually in your homes. Last Sunday, my family added a sermon called “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery” from Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of Chicago to our stay at home church. When your teenage and young adult boys tell you a sermon clarified and excited their faith more than anything else they have seen and heard — well, it’s a conversation that parents love to have with their children who want to keep the faith but apply it to the times they are in. This is a combination of preaching and filmmaking, as you would expect from Otis Moss III. For me, Otis’s sermon may be the best one I have ever heard about America’s Original Sin — how we might repent of it and be healed from it. Listen, watch, weep, hope, and be renewed.”
The second resource the Racial Justice Action Team wants to share is in a very recent, thoughtful and thought-provoking commentary by Trevor Noah from his May 29 Daily Show. It presents important and profound connections from Amy Cooper in Central Park to George Floyd to the looting in Minneapolis in a way that we had not seen articulated before and that is worth doing some thinking about. A lot of thinking.
Now, take action!
Following up on those calls to feel and to think, we have a call to act: the practice of voter suppression directed at minorities is a pervasive form of institutional racism. Taking action on this issue is a moral imperative. While stories of police actions across the country continue to fill us with horrified, necessary rage, there is a quiet, on-going violence that should possibly horrify us even more: a systematic and determined effort to deprive people of minority races, especially African-Americans, of their votes. For this there are many actions we can take, even from the seclusion of our sheltering in place.
Many of you are familiar with UCUCC member David Domke from his lecture series and his appearance as Seabeck speaker.
He has organized a nonprofit advocacy organization called Common Purpose Now. The focus of the work is to increase political participation. On their website, you will find a very clear statement of why this is a racial justice issue. If you then click on the “Advocacy” link above the message you will get to a page that lays out a collection of easy and important actions you can take. Each step that any of us can take is tiny, but they add up to an impact that isn’t tiny at all.