A Fashion Statement Worth Making

A Fashion Statement Worth Making

This article and photos are reprinted from the Rev. Pat Moore's blog, Tell it Slant. She recently attended the the July 23 Anti-Racism training at Trinity Cathedral, led by Lelanda Lee of the Diocese of Colorado. The Rev. Pat Moore is currently Chaplain of the Bishop's Ranch.

On Saturday last I spent the day in Sacramento at an anti-racism training. I confess to being a reluctant participant, and when we were asked to tell the reason we were there, I wrote “Mandatory.” My hopes for the day were that I would learn something and be re-invited to live more deeply into the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. I was doubtful, but as it turned out I did and I was.

After grudgingly driving from Santa Rosa to Sacramento when I entered the hall I was given a couple of paper hats to write on. On one we wrote words describing all our roles in life: “mother, grandmother, friend, aunt, leader of worship, listener, accompanier, etc.” On the other we were instructed to write “Child of God.” Generally speaking I am not exactly enamored of gimmicky games at workshops. But I did as I was told; then we were instructed to actually put on the hats (Pat pictured above right with the Rev. Ed Howell). When I looked across the table at two of my friends with their hats on (Monica Romano and Caitlin Gutenberger, pictured below left) I quite simply burst into laughter. They looked so ridiculous in their paper hats. We put on the “role” hat and then the “child of God” hat. Both looked so silly I couldn’t help laughing. I laughed and laughed. This was a gift, since it broke my spirit of grudge and opened me to the spirit.

The day progressed and we talked together, watched videos, and listened deeply to the stories we had to share about growing up in a society that is racist, as people who are racist. What did we learn from our families of origin? What did we learn from others about people of different races? What were our own experiences as white or black or brown or mixed? Just how is race constructed in our society? What are the privileges of being white? What about power relationships? What’s it like to be a person of color followed around a store by a guard who expects you to steal something (because of the color of your skin)? What does our baptismal creed have to say about all of this? What about Jesus’ life and teachings? All of this and more. Through it all there was really no conflict expressed in the room. Folks asked questions, shared their stories, and listened. But there was no challenging of one another.

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To read more of Pat's writings, visit her blog, Tell it Slant, here: ataslant.blogspot.com.

Click here
to view a video sermon from Lelanda Lee, anti-racism trainer, delivered Sunday, July 24 at Trinity Cathedral.

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