Being James Ian Tyson @breeNewsome

I have been thinking deeply of Bree’s brave action taking down the Confederate Flag, a symbolic triumph over a symbol of what is all to often used as a sign of hate.

And the burning of the African-American Churches proves racism to be a real and prevalent problem, one which Bree has shown some light on.

In light of the Marriage equality and racial injustice discourse that have been a part of most of my adult life, and as a graduate of the very progressive Oberlin College, I am aware of my privileged “normalcy” as some might call it.

I am a white, Cis, hetereo, Protestant (a Presbyterian no less which is as close to the historic religion of the US as anything else), middle class, well-educated, reliably married woman (that last thing is the piece that I suffer the most from). From the small taste I’ve had of stereotyping and assumptions based on my gender are unpleasant enough for me to know that others suffer way more and, despite our hope to be the best nation in the world, systematic hatred still exists.

So here I am, my church will send some money to the African-American Churches and I will continue to listen carefully to my queer and African-American brothers and sisters as I have through #slatespeak #freebree and all of the many conversations about homelessness for LBQT, imprisonment of African-Americans, the safety of queers in bathrooms and the like, the threatening letters sent to women African-American Pastors in the South and so so much more. Listening because (altho I love to talk) it would be a little to “White Man’s Burden” of me to try to lead a movement that isn’t about me


Instead, I’d like to be like James Ian Tyson.

“”It was decided that this role should go to a black woman and that a white man should be the one to help her over the fence as a sign that our alliance transcended both racial and gender divides. We made this decision because for us, this is not simply about a flag, but rather it is about abolishing the spirit of hatred and oppression in all its forms. ”

I liked the symbolic roll he played helping with the equipping & supporting, holding the line when its needed, standing there, listening, witnessing…..walking with those who are troubled, saying your people are my people, your God is my God, doing my best to be present. I know its not enough, but its a good start

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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