From Around the Web – July 15, 2016

Below are some links to articles, videos and stories that JustPeace staff have enjoyed this week. We hope you enjoy them too!

July 15, 2016 – Talking About Race – Talking about race: United Methodist pastor’s tips – The Rev. F. Willis Johnson of Wellspring United Methodist Church in Ferguson, Missouri provides insightful advice for preachers and laity who want to engage with others in conversations regarding race.

“In order to affirm we must listen, and model listening for our people. Affirm that others’ experiences are real, even if they are unreal to you.”

UMC Insight – Public Discourse and The Language of Derision –  Frederick W. Schmidt, professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, describes the corrosive effects of name-calling and how the increasing use of the language of derision is deepening the divides in our communities.

“At the heart of the language of derision is a profound spiritual malaise, fed by pride and by a narrowed sense of responsibility for those around us. It can never feed anything larger than partisanship and tribalism.”

Religion News Services – Can faith communities heal racial inequality? In Kansas City, a resounding yes – Steve Mencher visits Kansas City and discovers that people of faith hunger for community and that faith communities are working together to bridge differences and work for racial and social justice.

In my experience here in Kansas City, the received wisdom that “Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America” is only partly true. Yes, churches divide up along Troost Avenue, which slices through the city dividing black and white. But churches are also the main institutions reaching across that line.

Christianity Today –  The Burden and Promise of Racial Reconciliation – In his editorial, Mark Galli reminds us that in the face of overwhelming discouragement and hopelessness ” we each must do what we can, given our gifts and opportunities, holding steady to the cause” of working towards justice and reconciliation.

“As Christians we aim for nothing less than racial reconciliation, but we know that this cannot come without racial justice. And if justice is so hard to achieve, how much harder reconciliation?”

Religion News Service – Our response to terror must be reconciliation – Mohammed Dajani Saoudi shows the importance of being committed to mutual respect and understanding in the face of terrorism and describes the three levels of reconciliation: 1) Internal reconciliation, 2) reconciliation with our communities, and 3) reconciliation between communities.

“In the wake of terrorist incidents, we must avoid the impulse to give in to hatred. Hatred is easy. It excites our survival instincts, our elemental desire to fight or flee, to retreat to our tribe. It is the recourse of the despot, the demagogue and the deranged. Those who foster intolerance promote a culture of fear and violence that moves history in the wrong direction.”

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