ANTIRACIST ADJUSTMENT FOR THE WEEK of 1/3/2021
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8
To begin 2021, we’ll be exploring the book “I Bring the Voices of My People” by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes who is the Associate Professor of Practical Theology at the Mercer University McAfee School of Theology. In her publication, Dr. Walker-Barnes presents a Womanist vision of racial reconciliation which centers the experience of black women and their intersectional perspective on systemic racism, reconciliation movements and white supremacy.
In season 4 of The Distillery, which is a podcast produced by Princeton Seminary as part of the Thread, Dr. Walker-Barnes shares some of her insights and observations after years of racial justice work. She offers a course enhancement to the Christian church’s paradigm of racial reconciliation focused on the building/growing of relationships between black and white individuals and on forgiveness flowing from the victim to the oppressor. She notes that relationships built on unequal power dynamics will not lead to equity. Dr. Walker-Barnes challenges the Church to actively engage systemic racism and to advocate for restorative care for all.
As you sit with this week’s offering, remember to pay attention to the sensations that arise in your body and to where they are located. Do you notice agitation, constriction, release, pressure, energy, numbness, relaxation, warmth, coolness, softness, tightness? What statements resonate and which ones challenge? No judgment or analysis, just notice and let them go.
Body Settling/Soothing Practice: Humming (“My Grandmother’s Hands” page 142)
Pick a simple melody that feels comforting to your body such as the hymn Amazing Grace. Hum the first stanza all the way through from beginning to end using deep belly breaths. Repeat two more times. When you’re done stop and pay attention to how your body feels. What body sensations have changed from before you started humming? What has stayed the same?
Please feel free to forward any thoughts to me at the email listed below or by requesting to join the private Facebook group Antiracist Adjustments with the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1819196591561542/?ref=share . Blessings as you continue your antiracism spiritual practice.
(submitted by Pat Deeney, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Trenton NJ, email@example.com)