Dear Christ Church,
The summer of 2020, barely halfway over, has already gained for itself a place in future history books. From the biggest pandemic in a century, to the most significant moment of reckoning regarding race in America since the Civil Rights movement, to one of the most unusual and consequential election years most of us have witnessed in our lifetime—this is a moment for followers of Jesus to be listening and learning what it means to pursue social holiness.
For four weeks in the month of August, we are offering a discussion group regarding the church and race. Throughout the history of chattel slavery, the Church has done much to see the end of such oppression, from the abolitionist movement in 18th and 19th century England to the abolitionist and Civil Rights movements in America. However, there are many tragic examples of the church’s complicity with slavery and racism in the history of our nation. In his book, The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby chronicles this story, the history of the American church’s complicity in racism.
Fifteen spots are available for this book group, led by Lindsey Stringer. You can register here. The purpose of the group is not so much to have an academic history conversation (though the author is a trained historian), as much as to come with a learning posture, gain insight into ourselves and our story as the church, and look to the future with gospel hope and faithfulness.
On another note, I am periodically interviewing one of our Vestry members in the moments before our Sunday service. This week I will have the pleasure of conversation with Eleanor Chote, who is such a model to me and many others. In the later years of my life, I hope that I am as faithful, joyful, and servant-hearted as Eleanor. Here’s a fun fact: Eleanor, a native Austinite, attended the oldest elementary school in the state of Texas, Pease Elementary in the heart of downtown Austin. You’ll find out Sunday who she met as a fellow student there.