We pray you are safe and well.
In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that in God’s economy of abundance, when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.
You may be familiar with Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.
Today's Meditation comes to us in the words of Pastor Donna Schaper who helps us reflect on the contents of our backpacks. (If you feel inclined to go further, at the bottom of today's meditation is a link to a TED talk by Peggy McIntosh entitled How to recognize your white Privilege and use it to fight inequality.)
We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in healthcare, in the workplace, in the Church--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.
We hope and pray that you and your loved ones experience genuine peace of mind and heart, and remain in good health during this challenging time.
In this "Season of Ordinary Time" in the Church Year, may this be a time of peace, of healing and hope, of the infusion of joy in your life!
With our love and care,
Ron & Jean
Meditation 107: Artistic Redesign (Rev. Donna Schaper)
July 25, 2020
Moses said, “The Lord has called by name Bezalel … to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft.” - Exodus 35:32-33 (NRSV)
You can pack a backpack in an artistic way, or you can just pack a backpack. Beautiful backpacks have everything you need and have evicted everything you don’t need. Beautiful backpacks don’t have old bruised apples in them or baggies from long-gone tuna sandwiches. They have notebooks. They have well-packaged snacks. They are cleaned out from yogurt spills. They are always too heavy when they could be light.
Peggy McIntosh famously described white privilege as an “invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”
We whites could redesign our invisible backpacks. We could take out the maps that direct us to places where we keep our mouth shut when we could speak. We could take out the passports that take us on vacations from justice. We can take out the easy mortgages and monitor what our bank is doing and why. We can remove the opportunity hoarding, the willful ignorance about land and labor, the guilt that holds us back from courage.
Anti-racist churches could redecorate their interiors. Reconsider white Jesus. Redesign our blousy words about anti-racism and repack worship with attention to the Pentecost happening this year.
We who are white owe debts that we can never repay. As large as those debts are, we bask in God’s powerful forgiveness, which is even larger than our debts and calls us to artistic work.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those of others and ourselves. Let us fulfill your command to be artists. Amen.
Donna Schaper ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Francis: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.
Link to Peggy McIntosh's TED Talk: "How to recognize your White Privilege and use it to fight inequality:"