To be and to become…

To be and to become…

Everybody knows that something has happened. Just when it happened, no one knows. But there is complete agreement that somewhere, something very important has given away and all sorts of things are pulled out of shape, or are sagging or falling apart. The results? Nerves. There is a sense of fear as of some impending doom around the next turning in the road. …. Some say we are caught in the open independence of the sea, far away from any port, and a storm of world revolution is upon us. They point to breaking up of century-old social patterns all over the world …. This meant and continues to mean, that no one may claim detachment. The result is deep strains and stresses in the soul of a people, for which they had no preparation and from which there seems to be no sure basis for recovery.                                                            Howard Thurman, Deep is the Hunger, 1950

This is now the year 2020 and we find ourselves in another revolution, or is it in fact the same revolution the one fought now for hundreds of years in this country born on the soil of displacement and slavery? We, who are white, have been protected from this truth, not taught this truth in our schools, religious institutions or our communities. For much of the time, we live in blissful ignorance not acknowledging what our white privilege grants to us each time we go to the neighborhood grocery store, go birdwatching in a park or teach our children how to drive a car.

It is time for those who hold privilege to take a close look at our lives and how we live them for … no one can claim detachment. We as individuals cannot claim detachment and Kirkridge cannot claim detachment. Like many organizations the governing board of Kirkridge drafted a statement. Before that statement will be made public, we are in deep conversation for what it means in concrete steps of action. What can we commit to living into? How can we create places of healing and safe places for challenging conversations? How are we going to assist in building community, full community, where all voices are invited and deeply heard? In what ways must our work go public, be in our neighborhoods and community?

As Thurman writes in 1950, we have had little preparation for this and yet we will move forward knowing we must. It is time for places like Kirkridge to look anew at the calling of the Spirit in this time. We are searching deeply to answer how it is we are to live into our own mission in this world:

Kirkridge is a place
To be,
And to become
A people of hope,
Compassion, justice, and service.

In peace, Jean Richardson

iconic bell tower of Kirkridge

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