Christ the Servant Lutheran Church Has Pledged:
To be a worshiping, learning, serving, loving, and a
"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice..." Micah 6:8
Upcoming (you are invited to any or all!):
- Saturday, December 15 - Christmas Party at Nortons' @ 7:00 pm
- Feb 1-3, 2019 - SAVE the DATES! Pastor Linda Manson of LIFE Ministry from Philadelphia, will be (1) Reporting on her small, mighty ministry to folks connected to the criminal justice system, reducing recidivism and supporting families - (2) Facilitating ELCA anti-racism training "Today's Dream, Tomorrow's Reality" on Saturday - AND - (3) Help lead us in worship and adult forum that Sunday, with sermon and teaching
Highly-Recommended Reading (check back regularly as we will try to keep this section fresh):
- "Race and the American Soul," by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. (professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University) This thought-provoking essay was published in the September 17, 2018 edition of Time Magazine, and is sub-titled "Don’t Let the Loud Bigots Distract You. America’s Real Problem With Race Cuts Far Deeper." It made me (Bob Norton) look in the mirror...
- "What is White Privilege, Really?" by Cory Collins. Many of us (myself included) struggle with comprehending how "white privilege" is even a thing. To quote the end of the article, "...It’s (also) the power to remain silent in the face of racial inequity. It’s the power to weigh the need for protest or confrontation against the discomfort or inconvenience of speaking up. It’s getting to choose when and where you want to take a stand. It’s knowing that you and your humanity are safe..." This article appears in the Fall issue of Teaching Tolerance, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness," by Austin Channing Brown (2018), an "eye-opening account of growing up black, Christian, and female amid white America's expressed love affair with diversity." This book is highly-recommended by a leader in our synod (David Hahn), and a recent guest at our adult forum (all the way from Philadelphia), Pastor Linda Manson. We hope to lead a multi-part discussion of this important book very soon!
- "Advocacy begins with Confession" from the ELCA's website, by Tracey Depasquale, Director, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (February 2018). A short, terrific essay connecting more than our faith and public service at the beginning of Lent.
- And now for some environmental justice: from The New Yorker, "What is Donald Trump's Response to the UN's Dire Climate Report?", a chilling summary of our not-so-distant future weather forecasts and some possible consequences of staying our current course, no matter who is in the White House (October 22, 2018 issue).
Justice Seekers have had a busy year!
Please click here to see some of what we've been up to, including:
Please click here to see some of what we've been up to, including:
- At our most recent Adult Forum on October 28, Marguerite Rietz shared powerfully of her work with the voter registration efforts of Martin Luther King, Jr., telling of her personal interactions with Rev. Dr. King, Andrew Young, and Coretta King! What an honor it was for us in attendance to hear from her.
- On Tuesday, Oct 16th, we co-hosted (with Whatcom Peace and Justice Center) a Honduran journalist, Jennifer Ávila, who spoke on ”The Silencing of Dissent: How Freedom of the Press is Threatened in Honduras." She addressed some of the root causes of migration and other impacts of U.S. policy. Thanks to Peter Drewes of Justice Seekers and all those who helped out!
- On August 25th, TWENTY EIGHT Justice Seekers welcomed Pastor Linda Manson to Bellingham, fresh from her leading training sessions at the Mission Developers national gathering at Seattle University. See our cover photo above, and see here for more info on Pastor Linda and her LIFE Ministry work in inner-city Philadelphia! Sept. 30 Adult Forum video conference with Pr. Linda and racism & mass incarceration info provided.
- Laura Norton attended the annual "Festival of Homiletics" in Washington, DC, in late May, and brought back a CD (“Preaching and Politics”) containing all 33 talks for our church library
- May 20 Adult Forum – Bob Norton & Rick Gordon presented the “Reclaiming Jesus” statement & video, and led a discussion about other topics to pursue or go deeper
- Hosted two viewings of the Netflix film "13th" on successive Friday nights, attended by a total of 17 people
- Many congregants signed cards for Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC in remembrance of "The Emanuel 9," who were killed during Bible study by white nationalist Lutheran-confirmed man; mailed cards in early June
- Seven CTSers attended Synod Gatherings in Bellevue (June 2) and Marysville (June 9)
- Monthly meetings - 4th Wednesday of each month
Here are some more justice-seeking opportunities for learning:
A Few Good Videos
"Mass Incarceration: How Racial Inequality Shapes Criminal Justice," a film recently released by the Equal Justice Initiative. Follow the link to their website, that also includes other interesting videos and learning opportunities.
"Sights and Sounds from Rally to End Racism," held on April , 2018, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Eye-opening NBC Interview from 1967 with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where he discusses the "struggle for genuine equality."
"White Like Me" by Tim Wise, explores the continued prominence of racism through the prism of white privilege.
"13th" by Ava DuVernay, refers to the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and examines racism in the U.S. justice system.
"What's In Your Wallet" by Dr. Walter Brueggenmann, for a look at what the Bible says about money.
A Few Good Reads
"What Does Poverty Feel Like to a Child?" by Beverly Gologorsky & TomDispatch
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
"Tears We Cannot Stop" by Michael Eric Dyson
"A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present" by Howard Zinn
"Citizen: An American Lyric," by Claudia Rankine
"Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society," by John A. Powell
"Every Black Person Has Had A ‘Starbucks Moment'," recent article by Benjamin L. Crump. Remember how two customers were treated while waiting for a business meeting to begin (April 2018).
And Some Interesting Podcasts
Listen to "Implicit Bias," from the Putting Racism on the Table Podcast Series in Podcasts.
Advocacy: The ELCA is Connecting Faith and Public Life
As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. God uses our hands, through our direct service work and our voices, through our advocacy efforts, to restore and reconcile our world. Through faithful advocacy, the ELCA lives out our Lutheran belief that governments can help advance the common good.
ELCA advocacy works for change in public policy based on the experience of Lutheran ministries, programs and projects around the world and in communities across the United States. We work through political channels on behalf of the following biblical values: peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease.
Faith Action Network
A few of us Justice Seekers have been learning more about Faith Action Network (FAN). The Rev. Kirby Unti, Bishop of our Northwest Washington Synod, is one of the prominent faith leaders who is on FAN’s Interfaith Leaders Council.
FAN came into being in 2011 at the union of the Washington Association of Churches (WAC), an historical ecumenical agency, and the Lutheran Public Policy Office (LPPO), the highly effective advocacy arm of the Stateʼs largest Protestant denomination. FAN now builds a more powerful force for change. The merger opened the door for other faith communities to partner in this interfaith movement for the common good.
FAN's mission is to be a faith-inspired statewide partnership striving for a just, compassionate, and sustainable world through community building, education, and courageous public action.
Black Churches Matter
At a recent adult forum hour at our church, we watched "Do Black Churches Matter in the ELCA?" part 1 and part 2, which generated a lot of discussion and desire to follow through with action on our part. A possible next step would be to begin and nourish a relationship with one of the ministries we learned about in the documentary (LIFE Ministry), and its leader, Pastor Linda Manson. Below is a great, short video about some of what they've accomplished on a shoe-string budget.