Synod Network Aims to Help Confront and Dismantle Racism
Some symptoms of racism might be obliterated with a wrecking ball approach, but a new Presbyterian network aims to help dismantle the structure and proactively remember grim events of the past, including the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
“If the hope and goal is for everyone to be equal, then the hard work that we are doing will be undoing, dismantling, that structure and building anew,” said Rev. Jennifer Hardin, 31, associate pastor in Stillwater, Okla., a member of the network in the Synod of the Sun she helped name.
Activity in the Synod’s Network for Dismantling Racism has accelerated since its formation in January. Members have built a list of 10 goals with a mission to heed “God’s ongoing call to love and justice… to (see) the atrocities of system racial injustice” and to “equip and engage for transformation throughout society.”
Whether through a hymn, Handel’s Messiah, or the lectionary reading, the book of Isaiah provides a familiar voice for congregations during the season of Advent. So how do we create faithful, Christian interpretations of Isaiah for today while sharing this book with our Jewish neighbors? Tyler Mayfield invites readers to view Isaiah through two lenses. He demonstrates using near vision to see how the Christian liturgical season of Advent shapes readings of Isaiah, and how far vision clarifies our relationship to Jews and Judaism. Both near vision and far vision are required to read Isaiah clearly and responsibly. Unto Us a Child Is Born provides a series of lessons on the passages of Isaiah that appear during Advent. Mayfield provides beautiful theological readings of these texts as bearers of good news alongside contextual readings that locate the prophetic passages in their historical setting. Included is a discussion of how to use Isaiah as a theological resource during the season of Advent as well as how one can responsibly share Isaiah among friends and neighbors of Jewish faith.