Our commitment to anti-racism
As a living, loving, and learning church, Woodlawn Chapel strives to uphold core values of hospitality, spirituality and servant leadership. Christ alone is head of the church, and Christ calls us to faithfulness in our mission. As members of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we affirm our church’s commitment to unity in diversity and recall that in our baptism, we are connected to each other regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability or theological conviction. We affirm our denomination’s commitment to anti-racism and diversity and are humbled by the work God is doing to create communities of persons of different genders, races, ethnicities and worldly conditions as expressed in the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity in the constitution of the PCUSA (Book of Order).
Our commitment is to learn, grow, and respond to racism. As a church this has included studies, visits to national civil rights legacy sites, intercultural mission projects, and activities both near and far. We see this as a journey which God has called us to undertake and realize that each person is in a different place on that journey. We are enriched by the gifts and participation of all of God’s children, and we invite all people to come and learn with us.
For more information about resources from the Presbyterian Church (USA) on racism, click here.
St. Louis Reconciliation Network.
Our reconciliation journey benefitted from an eight week study offered by the St. Louis Reconciliation Network, and is featured in the video below.
Resources for your journey
Below is a listing of resources available either from the church or from the pastor’s library which you may find helpful.
Movies worth watching:
“I am not your Negro,”
“The Hate U Give”
Books & Authors worth reading:
Alexander, Michelle. n.d. The new Jim Crow. Public policy
Angelou, Maya. n.d. I know why the caged bird sings. Poetry
Coates, Ta-Neishi. Between the world and me. Memoir/Essay
Cone, James H. 2013. The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Orbis.Theology
DiAngelo, Robin. 2018. White Fragility. Boston: Beacon Press.Sociology/Racism
Harvey, Jennifer. 2020. Dear White Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.Sociology/racism/theology *** available in church library
Helsel, Carolyn. 2020. Anxious to talk about it: helping white people talk about racism. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press. Helpful book aimed at church folks.
Irving, Debbie. 2014. Waking Up White. Uknown: Elephant Room Press.Helpful for white persons beginning a journey of awareness. *** available in church library
Johnson, Walter. The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis & The Violent History of the United States
Kendi, Ibram X. n.d. Anti Racist Baby (children’s book).
—. 2019. How to be an antiracist. One World. An important, but lengthy read
King, Martin Luther Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Law, Eric H.F. 2000. Inclusion: Making Room for Grace. St. Louis: Chalice Press. *** available in church library
McIntosh, Peggy. n.d. “Unpacking the invisible knapsack.” Brief and well written essay. *** available in church library
Oluo, Ijeoma. 2019. So you want to talk about race. New York, NY: Hachette.
Saad, Layla. 2020. Me and White Supremacy. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Stevenson, Bryan. 2015. Just mercy: a story of justice and redemption. Excellent source that reflects on Stevenson’s journey to exhonorate wrongly incarcerated individuals.
Stone, Nic. 2017. Dear Martin (fiction, grades 9+). New York, NY: Crown Books for Young Readers.
Thomas, Angie. n.d. On the come up (fiction).
—. n.d. The Hate You Give (fiction).
X, Malcom and Imam Benjamin Karim, The Autobiography of Malcom X.