"What can I do?" There are a lot of different things we can be doing. Below is a starter set. I am using our discipleship language of the inward and the outward journey because faithfulness is always a balance between action and reflection. In all things, the most important thing we can do is keep coming to the Eucharistic table together, laying our lives on that table with one another and with Christ, and letting God do the work of blessing us and fashioning us into the new creation of the Body of Christ.
The Inward Journey
"Be still and know that I am God." - So much of what is being expressed is loud and it needs to be. There is great anger and pain that has been crying out and is now just being heard. In times like this prayer ... particularly like Elijah listening for God's voice "in the sound of sheer silence" ... is most important. Even if you only start with 3 or 5 minutes a day, if you haven't already, now is the time to develop a daily prayer discipline. If you can, set up a prayer space in your home. Just sit in silence with the thoughts of your hearts. Lift up to God what you are hearing, thinking and feeling. Breathe out anxiety and breathe in peace. Just pray "Come, Lord Jesus."
Next to prayer, the most important thing for us to be doing -- particularly those of us who are white -- is listening. Deep, deep listening to voices we have not really heard. It is part of embracing what I believe is the "Sacrament of Uncomfortability." Start with people you know -- people in our congregation who have had different life experiences than you. Share a cup of coffee or a lunch. Share stories of each other's lives.
I particularly recommend:
If you are interested in starting a reading group for one of these books, please let me know. Also, I've found the writings of Tim Wise - a white man who has done extensive antiracism work -- incredibly helpful. (www.timwise.org).
The Outward Journey
Use Your Spending - Examine where you spend your money and consider supporting more black-owned businesses to help minority communities generate wealth.
Volunteer and Support - Look for ways to volunteer and support in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven or NYC.
Raise your voice to those in government.
As this movement spreads from Ferguson around the nation it is becoming clear that our conversations and actions around race, class and ensuring that all God's children are treated with honor, dignity and high regard are here to stay ... and thank God. That means we need to be in this together for the long haul. That means hanging in together and trying to have face-to-face conversations whenever possible.