Written by Barbara Scott
Our book, The Woke Church, brought out 10 people to discuss it from a micro to a macro level; from a personal to a TCS body perspective. We also discussed how our lives need to be changed by considering this call by Dr. Mason.
The Woke Church, written by Eric Mason, pastor at Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, writes to the church to confront racism and injustice. Dr. Mason defines “woke” as being awakened from deadened sinful thinking, and he asks his readers to consider the 4 A’s to motivate us for change:
Be Aware, Be willing to Acknowledge, Be Accountable, and Be Active
Some of the questions we responded to were:
How do we respond to injustices done in our neighborhoods, city, state and country, even if we don’t know the individuals?
Is our response different than when a tragic event happens to our friends?
How do we respond to injustice from a gospel-minded perspective?
We acknowledged that we all come from different perspectives and life experiences when it comes to race relationships and racial injustice. We wondered and reflected on what might be crippling us from being on the same page in moving forward with racial justice and reconciliation at TCS and how we can pursue unity as we make changes.
Believing that God is a God of justice, the church has an opportunity to make strides in carrying out justice in our neighborhoods, city, state, and country. Justice is not just about race, it is being “woke” to the needs of those around us.
We, as a group, were encouraged to review Dr. Mason’s motivating actions of justice, which are Intervening Justice, Preventative Justice, and Systemic Justice and to consider how each of these categories could apply to us as individuals and to the ministry and work of TCS.
The group presented good ideas of how to begin addressing these questions such as:
Read more books on racial injustice and racial reconciliation, followed up with group discussions.
While reading books is helpful, the real benefit is discussing the book with others.
Sit under the teaching of pastors of color.
Make childcare available for marginalized families.
Participate by volunteering to provide school lunches
(Adams Elementary has significant diversity and tremendous need)
Partner with African American churches in the city, and join in fellowship with these churches to reflect together the Imago Dei.
Get to know the people and needs of our neighborhoods in Ballard, both short-term and long-term.
Form a focus group to create a document on racial justice for TCS.
Dr. Mason focused on scripture for his cry to the church to be woke. The group agreed that individually and as TCS we need to be woke. This will take prayer, unity, pain, work, and commitment. God is powerful enough to awaken us to our brothers’ and sisters’ need for justice. Then the Imago Dei will truly be lived out.