Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
The Dismantling Racism and Privilege (DRAP) team is still seeing fruit from their trip to the Legacy Museum in Alabama. Although the trip happened last October, the waves are still flowing outward from the initial event. There is energy in the presbytery that is triggered by the enthusiasm and focus of DRAP. An example is the pre-session at the presbytery gathering on this coming Thursday February 6th. Ordinarily, we anticipate 125 people at our gatherings. We already have 140 registered! We have over 110 planning to participate in the pre-session. Wow! We anticipate about 25% of the participants will be first time visitors to a presbytery gathering. These members are showing up because they are both excited and curious. They are excited about what DRAP is doing. They are curious about who we are as Presbyterians and how we live in life together beyond their particular congregations.
At the gathering you will see many people wearing Presbyterians Care shirts. This is part of the DRAP initiative designed for each congregation to reach in and reach out with acts of compassion and caring. Congregations and individuals are being asked to volunteer in community activities like visiting a Ronald McDonald House, neighborhood clean-up, or a local food pantry. They are asked to do internal mission like hold a career day, create an intergenerational event, or host a read-a-thon for children. They are asked to wear their Presbyterians Care shirt while involved in acts of compassion, peace, and justice. The idea is to raise awareness of Presbyterians in action, and to witness through the wearing of the shirts.
Simply wearing a shirt that identifies us as Presbyterian may generate conversation. It may become an entrée to sharing our faith, witnessing for Christ, and inviting someone to church. In a time where the most shocking clothing seems to be the most popular (did you see the red carpet on the Grammys!), it may be easy on the eyes for someone to see a simple and honest message. It would be even more powerful if this message is connected with an action of compassion and community service.
Rev. Craig M. Howard