Blog Post by the
Rev. Dr. Craig Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
This weekend our nation experienced an ugly outburst of racism. Saturday morning I checked my Facebook page and saw a post from Erin Counihan about White Nationalist, KKK, and Nazi groups marching through a college campus in Virginia with torches, shields, and guns. I thought, “What country is this? Who allows people to march with torches and guns?” Perhaps this is what happens when we mix free speech with open carry laws.
What if this happened in our presbytery? What if the KKK, the Nazi group, or other promotors of hatred decided to march in Pacific, Bellville, or Ballwin? In a way, Giddings-Lovejoy is living in the after-shocks of the murder of Michael Brown, with protests and riots that followed. These were not protest about hate, but race played a key element. Last Wednesday I attended a memorial for Michael Brown in the apartment complex where he lived. It was a sensitive reflection on his life, and a symbolic presentation of the many African Americans whose lives have been cut short. The event included a dance troop, prayers, testimony, and release of doves for peace. I have attached a slideshow of the event below.
As we continue to be confronted by racism in our nation, the Dismantling Racism and Privilege Team is encouraging us to read “Waking Up White.” Our denomination has been reading this book this past year. Some congregations in Giddings-Lovejoy have already been involved with reading and discussing this helpful book. I am asking, along with DRAP, to set aside the month of September to read this book together. At the end of the month we will form discussion groups and invite those who desire to attend.
I really hope you participate in this book study. If you’ve already read it, please participate in a study group at the end of September. This is an opportunity for our presbytery to learn together and continue to strengthen the ties that connect us.
Rev. Craig M. Howard