Hello, dear women!
After much prayerful discussion and discernment, we are excited to announce that our Women’s Ministry 2021 spring study will be Latasha’s Morrison’s Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation. This book won Christianity Today’s 2020 award for Christian Living and Discipleship and invites us to the work of racial justice, reconciliation, and personal transformation. Rich themes of confession, repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation shape the book along with engagement with Scripture and prayer. This book is an invitation to personal and communal responsibility, while it also affirms that it is the work of Christ who enables us to engage in work of racial reconciliation and justice. While we anticipate several more months of social distancing in this pandemic, our work as the diverse, multigenerational women of the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church is to continue to answer God’s invitation to discipleship—and this call is both challenging and deeply hopeful as those called by Christ.
Small group next steps
First, you’ll want to get a book! You can purchase your book here: Be the Bridge (on Amazon) or perhaps consider purchasing it from your local bookstore. If you need assistance in obtaining a book, please reach out to one of our Women’s Leadership Team members – we are happy to help!
Second, here is the AACRC Be the Bridge Study Guide
Third, mark your calendars! The meeting dates for this winter/spring are as follows:
- 1st/3rd Wed (AM and PM): 1/20, 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/17, 4/7, 4/21, 5/5
- 2nd/4th Mon (PM): 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/22, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10
- Every Wed (AM) group: Tentatively beginning 1/13
There is always space for new members! If there is someone you’d like to invite to join us this winter, please let us know.
As always, please reach out if you have any questions. The Women’s Leadership Team would like to give special acknowledgement and a word of thanks to Pastor Kristen for her guidance in assisting the team with the selection of our spring study and also for her efforts in preparing a discussion guide for our small groups. Pastor Kristen, we are grateful for you.
And we also give thanks for each one of you, dear women. May you all know the Lord’s deep love for and delight in you in this Christmas season. We look forward to reconnecting within small groups in 2021.
When we begin to intentionally engage the work of racial justice and reconciliation, this work can be overwhelming. This is why we are doing this in community with one another.
Small discussion groups gathered the summer of 2020 at AACRC around three books—The New Jim Crow, Waking Up White, and The Hate You Give. Below are a few other recommendations for some good places to engage. This is by no means an exhaustive list—and we encourage us all to share what your reading list might be in your groups as well.
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope by Esau McCaulley
- The Color of Compromise: the Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby
- How to Fight Racism by Jemar Tisby
- The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper
Social Media Resources:
- Be the Bridge is a very active Facebook Group—you can ask to be added (it’s a closed group) and then read the protocols and expectations to engagement. If you’re active on social media, this is would be a wonderful group to join in parallel with our reading.
- Black Liturgies written by Cole Arthur Riley who is an exceptional writer of daily prayers and is an important voice to follow. Find her at blackliturgist.com or on instagram @blackliturgies
Racial Justice resources from the Christian Reformed denomination:
- from the CRC blog, Do Justice: “This is going to hurt” a wonderful, short article by Rev. Kate Kooyman, a guest preacher at AACRC a couple years ago
- on January 5, 2021, the CRC recorded an excellent webinar called “Talk is Cheap – Antiracism is WORK” and they made it available through the CRCNA’s YouTube page.
- CRC’s Office of Race Relations: Their mission statement reads: “We resource Christian Reformed members and congregations as you dismantle the causes and effects of racism within the body of believers and throughout the world. We help you to live as God’s diverse and unified family.” Here you’ll find many workshops, book lists, articles, and resources.
- A statement made in 2020 on racism and a list of resources posted in the CRC North American “Network”
- from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship: Anti-Racism in the Renewing of Christian Worship
- Prayers to guide us, written out of the context of the summer of 2020 from the CRC Do Justice blog