In Spirit and Truth seeks to encourage discussion and deeper consideration of representation issues in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is hoped entries will prompt reflection and dialogue on aspects of expanding representation and supporting full participation in the PCUSA, especially at the assembly and mid council levels.
This blog will occasionally feature content written by one of the fourteen members of the General Assembly Committee on Representation, who are church members, ministers (teaching elders) and ruling elders from across the country, as well as links and articles of particular interest. The ministries of advising, consulting, advocating, promoting inclusion, reviewing and recommending actions are vital to the life of the whole Body of Christ. Committees on Representation and/or their functions exists at all councils above session so from time to time we may highlight activities and insights from sister committees on representation at lower councils throughout the church.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. or the General Assembly Committee on Representation.
Author/Facilitator Molly Casteel is an Assistant Stated Clerk and the Manager for Equity and Representation in the Office of the General Assembly. She is a teaching elder (a.k.a. Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.
So many words, so many nights of protests, days of planning, so many photos and videos... It has been over 100 days since Michael Brown was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Out of more than 100 days of protest, there have been 2 with violence. And yet, anticipating the grand jury verdict regarding whether the officer will be indicted and a court case will be pursued, insurers are requiring shopkeepers to board up their windows and doors, the governor has called in the National Guard, local police are moving in military equipment and media are seemingly salivating for the community to be violent, as it is presumed to be. Shall we ask, Who has demonstrated more violence?
What we imagine has power whether or not it aligns with what we see and hear. The power of our imaginations to read into "facts" and create conclusions. While we wait, breathe in peace, breathe out justice. Ask questions. Stay open. Connect. Pray with your actions.
Spirit of the Living God, Fall Afresh on me, Melt me, Mold me, Fill me, Use me...
Resources and Ideas for Action:
Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ)
Find a candlelight vigil in your community and participate.
Speak to public officials about your concerns for racial justice.
Include justice issues from perspectives usually unheard in your community in outlets for the community - newsletters, prayer of the people, sermons, etc.
Understanding Ferguson; Understanding White Supremacy, David J. Leonard.
What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
White Fear: The Single Greatest Killer of Black People in the U.S., Jenn M. Jackson
Why don’t we hear about women victims of state violence?, Verónica Bayetti Flores
The Death of Micheal Brown and the Search for Justice in Black America, Mychal Denzel Smith
Why I Don’t Call the Police, Emily Bazelon
A Mother’s White Privilege, Manic Pixie Dream Mama
Update November 25, 2014:
The Stated Clerk has issued two statements regarding events in Ferguson, Missouri.