Today, I keep popping on the live stream of the Rittenhouse trial. I am fighting my heartbreak and hoping justice and truth prevail. I keep hearing people say oh it was self-defense! Why is that even the discussion? Why isn’t the discussion: why does a kid have a military grade weapon and is walking around with it on the streets of a community? What did he and his family expect would happen? Why isn’t there talk of race in the trail? Why are they not talking about the cultural influences that impacted this child’s mind drawing out hate and telling him problems can be solved with an AK-15? Maybe you too have more questions than answers.

I have been reading My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem who is from Milwaukee, WI.

Menakem talks about how we can learn all about why racism is wrong and know it, believe in it, and honor it. The harm and the racial trauma, however, are in our cells even if our minds know racism isn’t right because we are all saturated in the culture. Menakem shares how this trauma needs different forms of healing than intellectual or mind healing. I am worried about how this trial might end. I worry about the trauma that can be caused when justice is not served. I also hold the whole thing is unjust and never should have happened in the first place. I am looking at the colored leaves outside and hoping for change to come. I am also thinking about how all of us can assist in healing. How can we bring healing to our bodies for trauma we have experienced and carry in our cells? If this is in your heart, contact me. Or if you have read that book, I am curious about your thoughts.

I am so proud to be serving at a congregation that holds values to heal and work for justice. I want to remind you to take care of your souls these days. Covid is hard. The cold weather and darkness can be so difficult. Now is the time to reach out to our community. Join a Soul Matters Group, come to our Widening the Circle book groups. If it is safe for you to do so, come to church. We build so much community in our committees and in showing up to set up chairs and clean out spaces. We need one another. Making a meal for Guest House or offering to be available to send cards, make calls and help one another is so important. Our CommUUnity Connections and Lay Pastoral Care teams need your support and are here to support you in times of acute pain. We also have referrals for issues of ongoing stress.

Join one another in this community. As we re-enter the building, there is much to do to clean up since the remodeling. We need one another to greet, to help sign folks in, and usher. We need all those jobs and many more. If you are lonely, come early on Sundays. If you are looking for community, ask me or Reverend Suzelle and our staff, how you can help out. Let’s build one another up in these challenging times.

Last Sunday, I watched our youth gather around the bonfire. I was warmed watching our children in Religious Education run on our large beautiful grounds. We have a lovely community. Let’s nurture one another as we face big issues.

Please contact me if you want to connect, have questions, need a pastoral care appointment or want a referral to the Lay Pastoral Care Listeners or want a therapy referral.

I send you so much healing. Please do your spiritual practices – even if they are short and imperfect. We all have so much to heal.

Love, RevD