Volume 35, No. 2
Where Are We Going?
This year felt different than previous years as our nation celebrated and remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There has been a transition of leadership in Washington. We watched in angst as a seditious riot took place at the Capitol Building. We’ve had more social unrest and greater calls for justice than at any point in history since the civil rights movement. The wind has literally been knocked out of us with Covid and the disease’s impact on vulnerable and even not-so-vulnerable communities. We’ve entered into 2021 wondering where we go from here.
Royal Lane encountered Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman last Advent during our worship series called “The Work of Christmas.” The great African American author, professor, preacher, and mystic said, “There are two questions that we have to ask ourselves. The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’”
And that’s what I’ve asked myself over and over again in the past several months and I think it is what we need to ask ourselves in these unprecedented times as a community of faith, especially as Christians. Where are we going, Church? What do we want our congregation to look like? What do we want our work as a loving and justice-oriented church to be?
I see a future where our diversity is our strength, where our diversity is fearless, and where our diversity is our beauty. I see a future where our diversity is our way to bring unparalleled love to the world, where our diversity is celebrated, and where diversity is our teacher. That is the future where I want to go, where I pray we go. And I’m proud of Royal Lane’s diaconate, the Social Justice Team, the Racial Justice Team, and our staff as we continue to learn what it means to be antiracist and work for social, economic, and racial justice.
The second question is, “But who will go with us?” I hope more white communities of faith in Dallas will go with us as we work alongside communities of color for racial and economic justice in this city and the nation. I think it is right for Royal Lane, as a predominantly white congregation, to lead the way for other white communities to enter into racial justice work. But also, we shouldn’t be the only leaders in this movement. It is also our job, as we move forward, to follow the guidance of black, indigenous, and people of color; their leaders; and their communities as they speak and act and teach us hard truths.
As we move forward in 2021, we are being called. We are being called to actively remember how we got to this point and who died to get us here. We are being called to actively follow. We are being called to actively listen. We are being called to actively pray. And, we are being called to actively educate ourselves, build relationships, and support people who value the beautiful diversity, equality, and justice that we value. Once we identify where we are going, we aren’t finished. We have work to do.
And that is why we, at Royal Lane, will spend 2021 learning to be antiracist and striving for racial and economic justice. We will not be silent in support of black lives. We will not be silent that this city and this nation needs to change. We will not be silent in the face of Christian nationalism that encourages the superiority of one faith. We will not be silent as we use our white privilege to dismantle white supremacy. We will not, and must not, be silent.
As Dr. Thurman said, “Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.”
May it be so.