Weekly E-mail – June 5, 2020

By SMRUC_admin
June 7, 2020

Dear Friends of Christ!

This Sunday would have been the Pride Parade. Many of us would have gone on the march in celebration, solidarity, and support of our LGBTQ+ family. Instead we are taking this Sunday as an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of SMRUC being an Affirming Ministry of the UCC.  affirmunited.ause.ca

Although this year we don’t have new stepping stones to add, our Affirm Team built and painted a rainbow colored bench. Our call to being an Affirming Ministry is rooted in our deep desire to see the Gospel of Christ lived out more fully and more faithfully.

We celebrate this, and we are challenged by it to. We need to keep asking the question, “Who is being excluded, marginalized, oppressed?”

Today we are facing the pointed question, “When it comes to racial injustice, how are we doing?”

In March, when I was on sabbatical, West Broadway Community Ministry was scheduled to lead worship ( westbroadwaycm.org ). The pandemic changed that. One of the faithful volunteers at this vital ministry of our city, Anisha, was going to be one of the speakers. With permission, I ask you to read, and pray with, this letter she wrote: 

    #BLACKLIVESMATTER 

Dear Friends, 

I am a black woman who moved to Winnipeg from Jamaica at a very young age. My parents moved my siblings and I here to give us the best opportunities. Unfortunately, living here caused me a great deal of distress and I went through Culture Shock.

For the first time in my life, I experienced racism. My peers were cruel and called me names like, “Jungle Bunny”, “Nigger” and other various racial slurs. The racism directed at me was so bad that if had only one wish back then, it would have been to be white (they – are ALWAYS accepted). I hurt so badly that I wanted to be anyone but the person I was, a person I had grown to hate simply because of the color of my skin!! ..

Later in life I had another experience with racism when I was thrown in prison for crimes that were committed against me. I was abducted from Winnipeg by a white man, beaten, raped, drugged, tied to a tree in the outskirts of Ontario over the course of four days before I was finally able to escape. My case was brought to court and I was blamed for the assault. After all I endured and the promises of conviction, my case was dismissed. Because of the color of my skin and my sorted lifestyle choices –

I did NOT matter!! ..

Putting an end to police brutality, discrimination and the oppression of black people with the hashtag “Black Lives Matter” is something that is very important to me. In recent days, I have found myself defending what Black Lives Matter means to those who respond with “All Lives Matter.” So let me be VERY clear – stating that Black Lives Matter does NOT insinuate that other lives don’t.

THIS IS OUR REALITY!! Those deciding to ignore that fact for their own comfort doesn’t make it ANY LESS TRUE!! ..

“Black Lives Matter” is OUR way of declaring that WE are important, and neither we as individuals, nor the issues that impact us, will be discarded, overshadowed, treated as nonsense, or accused of “playing the race card” anymore.

NO.

We MATTER!! ..

Saying “Black Lives Matter” is about promoting the love of self and OUR RIGHTS to equal justice and fairness!! .. This is not the time for “All Lives Matter” as all lives are NOT being threatened!!

Thank you for your time and understanding,

Anisha.  

As we celebrate our proud commitment to the Gospel of Jesus as an Affirming Ministry, ask the question over and over: “Who is being excluded, marginalized, oppressed?”  

The Sunday Service will be posted here (Communion at Home Video also posted there, or join fellowship hour to partake in the live Communion):

 www.youtube.com/channel/UCaVx4LJzHN9J6dtYlpvF0Zg/videos  

And I hope to see many of you connect again for our virtual fellowship time via Zoom.


 _______________________________________  

Phil Read is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting at 11 am every Sunday.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89017542624?pwd=empXOHZtTmtidldKTllRYWpQZVdpZz09

 Meeting ID: 890 1754 2624

Password:  031612 

Phone in option: +1 438 809 7799 (CANADA Number)

Follow automated instructions 

 _______________________________________

Grace and peace,

Phil

Note:  Since there has not been a Link for the last couple of months attached is the Celebrations for June.