Well, friends, believe it or not: summer is here!
At church, anyway; yesterday we had our last official day of the program year. We wrapped up regular Sunday School, and choir; last week we finished Wednesday night programming; next Sunday we will move to 10 AM worship and much of it outdoors for the next few months.
This weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season, with an extra day off and cookouts and barbecues and the beaches opening up, and in a few weeks the summer solstice will ring it all in officially. But it’s time already for new rhythms, of rest and connection, of getting outside and peeling off the layers that have kept us warm for so long.
Summer means opportunities – for fresh food, for travel, for rest; even for those of us who don’t get months off from school any longer, it’s still a time when we can take the dogs out later and later for a walk in full sunshine, when we can keep the windows open all day and hear the crickets instead of the snowplows.
It also means opportunities for different sorts of gatherings at church, away from our normal rhythms of Bible studies and Sunday School classes. Pastor Pete blogged last week about lots of opportunities to gather in his family’s backyard for potluck dinners, or on our church’s front lawn for Music on the Steps. And today I want to share with you a special opportunity for learning and growing together.
This summer, I’m proud to offer WCC’s (first!) Antiracism Challenge, a ten-week program for both adults and youth. Pastor Lynnea and I will lead this together, and I’m hopeful that you will join us. It’s based off a 21-day challenge curated by the Evanston YWCA, full of great topics and challenging ideas.
Each week, we will explore a couple of resources (often a video and a reading) on a different subtopic of racism: environmental racism, racism and trauma, racial identity, privilege – just to name a few. Additional resources will be provided if any topic peaks your particular interest. And then we will meet – some weeks on Zoom, and a few times in person – to discuss what we’ve learned and how it is impacting us.
Each meeting will be on a Wednesday at 7 PM, hosted by myself, Pastor Lynnea, or often both of us.
The challenge begins on June 4, just a couple of weeks away. We will take the first week to start working independently through these materials, and then begin our weekly gatherings the week of June 11.
The schedule, which appeared on an insert in yesterday’s bulletin, is as follows:
Zoom meetings: June 14, July 5, July 19 and August 2
In-person meetings at church: June 28, July 26, and August 9
Some Wednesdays we will not meet because of another opportunity to gather – Music on the Steps! But otherwise we will gather each week to process and learn from each other.
I hope you’ll read along with us, and come as much as you are able. I hope we’ll all take some time to learn new things and grow in this summer season; stretch our horizons; push past our comfort zones; and find God there with us.
If you have any questions, or want to sign up for the challenge and receive the packet of resources, please contact myself or Pastor Lynnea. I can’t wait to get started, and hope to see many of you join us!