How great it was to see this blogpost from Transylvania University highlighting one of our very own, Richard Stinetorf. The art is powerful as is the intent behind it. Thanks Richard for helping to illuminate a path for us to follow!
The month of August was one of learning and listening across the First United Methodist Church of Lexington. The Downtown community had 50 persons participate in a wide-range of small group experiences about what it means to have privilege based on skin color; how our country’s history includes lynching as a means of so-called justice; and how our point of view shapes so many things in terms of beliefs and actions. We’ve also taken time to be reminded by God’s word that unity is not simply a goal but it is a powerful witness. In addition to the small groups, even more took time to listen to a group of podcasts about First UMC’s history, Wesleyan theology, and the United Methodist Church’s role in racial reconciliation.
What a wonderful beginning response. There is a true desire to be a part of the solution. And an intentionality to take seriously the ministry of reconciliation to which the Apostle Paul says was handed to us by Christ (2 Cor. 5.18).
The events of the past few weeks have shown us once again the need for us to do just this. Like a recurring nightmare, we awoke to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. And we are again reminded that equality and justice are not in our rear view mirror as if they have been accomplished but rather in our windshield inviting us to pay attention or be faced with continual loss and despair as a community. One of the most poignant statements in recent days was given by Doc Rivers, L.A. Clippers Head Coach, who said, “It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back.”
So here we are…and the path forward is out there somewhere if we dare not look away. And we won’t. Let’s continue to seek to be a part of the solution. Thank you, Richard, for using your gifts to remind us of just that.