During the summer, we will be offering "Next Steps." It will provide a way to follow-up from the previous Sunday's theme with a very specific course of action. These steps might invite further reading and study, or introduce and teach a welcoming and deepening spiritual practice, or suggest a change in behavior, to join a plan of service or to set in motion a specific way to offer a helping hand to someone in need.
These "Next Steps" help forge the path of faith and action we might travel in a serious pursuit of Christian discipleship, but they will also be sound and simple ideas that can benefit anyone. The summer is often a perfect time to break out of our tired patterns, to make adjustments or make a change. Longer days offer more daylight for mixing up our schedules. Spending extra time with our family and friends in the great outdoors rekindles our connection with one another and the natural beauty all around us. Vacations can help us see the world with new eyes as we re-enter back into our established routines with greater skill and renewed energy.
"Next Steps" will encourage us to be more aware, reflective and relevant to the issues of our day. They will bring us together as we work in concert with our family of faith. They will deepen our spiritual lives. They will improve all of our relationships as we experience deeper and more fulfilling lives.
We start this process this week, after Sunday's memorial theme of addressing the systematic racism that continues to linger throughout our land. The proposed "Next Step" for this week is reading this great resource called "White Privilege: Let's Talk" from The United Church of Christ. This free PDF is a multi-authored booklet that directly addresses the issue of race for those of us in the white community, those of us, who are often blind and oblivious to this issue outside of our own privileged perspective.
This summer, take the "Next Step" and see how far the journey will take you.
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