How to be an Antiracist: Advent Book Study

Continuing Antiracism Work at St. Hilda St. Patrick

At this year’s Diocesan Convention, the bishop’s address fit with the theme “Striving for Justice and Peace.” During his address, he reflected on the necessity of repentance and evaluating our positions of power and privilege from an intersectional framework. You are encouraged to go watch his whole address here.

As Fr. Joseph preached on Halloween, the address concluded with three questions for us to ponder in congregational groups and as members of the convention moving forward.

  1. What will we do together as a congregation to interrogate and confess the sins of the past and reduce mistrust and suspicion?
  2. What are you going to do personally in your spiritual life and practice to reflect on your own sins and rebuild relationships?
  3. How will we help our congregation resist the urge to hit the snooze button?
    That is, how will we keep awake (an Advent theme) and do the work when we’ve committed to it and affirmed it with our words.

The bishop’s address was exactly what Fr. Joseph needed to get him out of a holding pattern and call us back to the work we began in late 2020 with So You Want to Talk About Race. For Advent we will be reading Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist. We will be meeting on Zoom on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Thursdays at 2 p.m. The first meetings will be on December 1 and December 2.

Whether you’ve participated in one of these book studies before or not, you are welcome to. If you would like a copy of the book, please email vicar@sthildastpatrick.orgFor planning purposes please sign up on this form if you’re planning to or would like to participate. This book is challenging, and Advent is short, so we’ll need to hit the ground running! Norms will be shared before the sessions begin.

Fr. Joseph is hoping that after this book we can continue our studies with shared workloads — people taking turns leading one session a month — so that the work never has to stop. He is also hoping we can commit to some personal actions and congregational actions to move from our book club to making a changing the world, loving God and our neighbor.

This work that we do is part of our stewarding the commons — not only of our building and physical plant, but the commons of the community in which we are situated, and the commons of our relationships inside and outside of church. Please hold it in mind as you pray about your financial stewardship for 2022, as well.

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