Perhaps you saw the original post for this book club that began with The Young Clergy Women Project. Perhaps you’ve already bought the first book and are ready to go. Or perhaps you’re finding this for the very first time and wondering “What in the world is this?” Maybe you’re even casting me the side-eye and wondering if you can participate because you don’t identify as young. Or maybe you don’t want to read along because you’re so mad that the graphic says something about young clergy. I sure hope not though. I hope that you’re here because you’ve heard about this from a friend or a colleague and you’re ready to do something after Charleston and Baltimore and Ferguson and Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and too many other names and places that we don’t know. It keeps happening. It happened again with Sandra Bland. If the mere mention of these names and places stirs your heart to want to do something to understand your own racism, then I say welcome.
Welcome to White Clergy Reading Racism.
As mentioned in the last post, we’re going to start by reading Bruce Reyes-Chow’s But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race. We’ll read one chapter every two weeks because we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew and there’s still plenty of time. We only started reading officially on Sunday July 12. So go ahead and order a copy now. On Sunday July 26, you’ll find another post right here on my little home on the interwebs to invite conversation via the comments. This week, you get to consider the reflection questions which you’ll find below.
Here are the questions.
- Reyes-Chow seeks an audience of readers who are “living in the tension between intellectual pursuit and passionate action.” How or why does this describe you?
- In discussing privilege, Reyes-Chow cites some tweets from the #blackprivilege response. Did any of the tweets in the book (or those you found on Twitter) offer you a new lens on racism?
- Especially for (young clergy) women, how did you relate to the dismissive comment that “gender doesn’t matter anymore”? Does or does this not help you enter into the conversation about race?
- How do you experience this truth in your church and in your life of faith that the “church too often finds itself trapped in the vernacular and strategies of a generation past. We have failed to find new ways to deal with the nature of race and racism that manifests in different ways”? Where do you see hope?
- Reyes-Chow concludes this chapter with a statement about Christianity’s role in conversations about race. How might you claim this possibility as a guiding force in your ministry and/or your life?
Come back to this blog on Sunday July 26th to share in some rich conversation around these questions. No one is stopping you from commenting on this post, of course. But not everyone has read the first chapter yet so just be aware that this isn’t the official conversation starter — but if you’re a speed reader and can’t wait please go ahead and comment. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and ideas.
If you happen to be on vacation or can’t find the time to read this first book, NEVER FEAR. This is only the beginning but here’s what you need to do to be kept in the loop.
- Send me a message and let me know that you want participate. Please share with me your blog address so I can be sure to share it with one and all.
- Then, go and share this blog post on your favorite social media platform. Tell everyone you know that this is something you’re doing. If you have a blog, go ahead and download this image and post it in your blog. Tell the story of why you’re participating. You can see how Susannah did this on Tea & Theology.
- Go back and read the first post. Pay special attention to the bulleted list below Here’s the deal. That’s where this whole thing is explained and it might make better sense to you. Then again, maybe not. I probably forgot something and you should definitely tell me about it. Send me a message about that too, please.
- Start thinking about what you want to read next. This is something we get to decide together.
Thank you for your open heart in this conversation.