By Paige K Slighter
Thank you to everyone who joined Greg and Osheta’s Zoom discussion for the 13th documentary. Over 100 of you participated! We hope it was helpful to process and wrestle together with this difficult topic as a church body.
Greg opened up the discussion with his reaction to the film. He said, “It’s really powerful and it condenses so much in such a short span of time.” This was his second time seeing it and he was still struck by the stories and statistics. It continued to help him connect the dots of systematic racism. He said, “When you understand the history of ‘law and order,’ and the history of the criminalization of Blacks, it takes on a whole different meaning. It’s so valuable to tell that narrative because it sets the context for today.”
Many of you who participated were also moved by what you learned and wondered, “Where do we go from here?” Greg mentioned prison ministry. We don’t have our own prison ministry at Woodland, but if you feel called to it there are existing organizations to look into. Osheta said, “Even though seeking justice in our current prison system feels overwhelming, there are ministries that are humanizing prisoners by sending them letters and care packages.” If you’d like to learn more, you can connect with Osheta at email@example.com.
Osheta also shared some stories from her own life and led the group in a mindfulness exercise. She invited everyone to imagine their difficult feelings (helplessness, anger, heartbreak, etc.) and give them to God. To wrap it all up, she prayed a blessing over everyone. She said, “It’s natural to be overwhelmed because it is overwhelming.”
If you missed out on the documentary, you can still view it here. Feel free to use questions provided by nehemiah.org, a minority-led organization, to think more deeply about the issues raised in the film.
What now? Here are more amazing resources to jump into to explore issues of racial justice.