Home > Uncategorized > Weekly Lifelines 8/30/2020

Weekly Lifelines 8/30/2020

I’ve got two separate notes for you today, so be sure to read all the way to the end.

Yesterday afternoon was warm and windy. Looking like bandits with masks and sunglasses, thirteen of us gathered on the east lawn and shared communion for the first time since March.

It was anything but routine. We celebrated the Eucharist in an unusual place, in an unusual way, with unusual modifications to keep us all safe. I strained to be loud enough to be heard through a mask and over the wind. I tried not to let all the wafers blow away nor let the wind turn the pages before it was time.

It was warm and windy and strange. It was also familiar and comforting and full of joy, like a deep breath of fresh air. I didn’t realize just how much I’d missed it.

We’ll continue gathering for in-person, outdoor Eucharist for the foreseeable future: Wednesdays at five on the east lawn. Two requests for you: First, if you’re planning to come, please RSVP to me (revjustinc@gmail.com or 612-618-3826, call or text). That way I know who to expect and I can make sure our gathering isn’t too big. Second, if that time or day is trouble for you, please contact me; I’d be happy to schedule more services so that we can all share in the sacrament again.

*  *  *

Earlier this month, a Fresh Air interview captured my attention. Terry Gross spoke with Isabel Wilkerson about her recent book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (listen and read excerpts here). In the interview, Wilkerson advocates for describing America’s systemic oppression of people of color not as racism, an inadequate term, but as a caste system. A caste system is, to quote the NPR, “an artificial hierarchy that helps determine standing and respect, assumptions of beauty and competence, and even who gets benefit of the doubt and access to resources.”

Part of what’s so intriguing about this idea is the framework it provides for dismantling this divisive system. Our racial inequity won’t be solved by individual white people changing their thinking about people of color. To overcome this sin, we must dismantle the system that separates us into different castes.

I’ve ordered the book (available here) and I invite you to join me in reading it. One month from now, on Monday, September 28, at seven p.m. we’ll gather on Zoom to talk about it. If you’re planning to join me in this, please let me know. I’m excited to read this book and to talk about it with all of you.

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