“Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it.” - Edmund Burke
The covenant group affords the opportunity for members of two ethnically different UMC congregations to unite together, to reflect introspectively, and to discuss the spiritual relevance of the Christian witness in the historical context of the events leading to the civil rights laws enactment. Our time together just further confirms, we are reaping a harvest of seeds Sown. This is a reality that is seen daily. My hope remains that our time together will turbo charge our group to be a catalyst for activism, to recognize, confront and dismember the harms, hurts, and dangers faced by our brothers and sisters, who are our neighbors.
While the Civil Rights Act and other laws to address equal access are on the books, the questions of equality and justice are still relevant today. Biases, prejudices, and discrimination are still alive today. The issues are systematic and require a multi-faceted approach to eradicate.
Consider the disparities: Healthcare Access, Employment, Housing, Education and Food Deserts. As a human service professional, I know that these issues are on the frontline as I offer suggestions to relatives and caretakers striving to meet the needs of family members and loved ones. Navigating a system intended to offer assistance at times seems to penalize instead.
I also note injustices such as the “Cradle to Prison Pipelines” fed in part by an inadequate educational system and lack of employment, increase in the deaths of unarmed AfricanAmerican males at the hands of the majority population and police departments, the human trafficking issue, and abuse in many other forms.
Justice begins by recognizing that “we” are out of control. We have ignored the 1st commandment (loving God) and are often oblivious to the 2nd commandment (loving our neighbors as ourselves). We are disobedient. Repentance is needed. This requires a commitment to acknowledging our rebellious ways and asking for forgiveness. This requires Truth, Transparency and Trust. Are we up for the task at hand?