We begin this season with the Imposition of Ashes: A sign of our mortality and a time to begin the
holy work of self-examination and repentance by prayer fasting and self-denial and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.
How can we begin to look at racism beyond simply bemoaning the burden placed upon the backs of people of color but the work that whites must make conscious in order to face and overcome their complicity in it?
This year, our Lenten Study series will feature the critical work White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.
Diangelo writes: “White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive responses. These responses function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. Those who see themselves as “the choir” can be particularly challenging, for we tend to focus on “evidence of our advancement” rather than reach for humility and continually grapple with how to engage in intentional action.” Our sessions will begin with a light meal and move to a series of presentations involving media and group discussions. Jessie Maeck is coordinating transportation for those who have difficulty driving at night. You may order the book online and use it as a Lenten devotional and study-companion. Several copies are available in the church office for $10; scholarships are available; please see Father Tyrone.
While the dream of a “post-racial” America remains unfulfilled, the struggle against racism continues. Living Into God’s Dream is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged. Dr. Connie Holmes will facilitate a workshop examining the movements of white privilege to white supremacy, understanding the rational for reparations for slavery, developing cultural humility and appreciating the limits of solidarity while yet becoming conscious allies. This workshop includes lunch, but an RSVP is required. Prior reading of the book is not essential, but participants should have a copy of the book to participate fully in the workshop. A few copies are on sale for $15 in the St. Mark’s office or by email at: email@example.com .
You may also order it online
Jean Michel Dissake, an artist from Cameroon, will be our guest at 9:30 am Sunday, Feb. 10, in our Community Life Center. We will have a “meet and greet” session with the artist beginning at 9 am.
Dissake will also give a public talk at the Gregg Museum at N.C. State University, along with students from NCSU’s Arts Village on Feb. 14 at 6 pm. Jean Michel is an inspiring artist from Yaounde, Cameroon, who creates sculptures from found and recycled materials. The concepts his art conveys are universal messages of unity, love, reconnecting with nature and balance between nature and technology. He wrote and is directing a performance/ceremony called The Rebirth of Nature. A documentary film is being made about Jean Michel and The Rebirth of Nature.
He works in his studio, Mudiki Free Laboratory of Visual Arts, in Yaounde, and teaches interns and students from University of Yaounde.
On Feb 10 and Feb. 24 our Racial Reconciliation Book Group will discuss Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America, edited by Catherine Meeks.
Sessions are set for 12:15 to 1:30 pm in CLC 5. Childcare is available.
These sessions will be in preparation for our Saturday, March 9, Lenten workshop on Living Into God’s Dream, to be led by Dr. Connie Holmes.
Mary Beth Murphy will sell discounted copies ($15) at church this Sunday, Feb.3.
On Feb 10 we discuss the Introduction plus essays 1 through 3, pp. 1-50; the Feb. 24 discussion covers essays 4 through 6, pages 51 through 105
Saturday, March 9 workshop: 10 am to 3 pm. Lenten workshop on Living Into God’s Dream, to be led by Dr. Connie Holmes. Includes lunch. Please RSVP to the church office. Attendance at book group discussions is not required. For more information, contact Georgia McEwan, Rhonda Moody, or Jessie Maeck.
Saturday, Feb. 9, is the annual Moral Monday march called HKonJ, or Historic Thousands on Jones Street. A group from St. Mark’s will join with the NAACP and other groups outside the state legislature building for a morning of witness and solidarity in support of rights of equality for all persons. Cars will gather at St. Mark’s at 8:15 am, or you may meet us at 9 am on the eastern corner of Wilmington and South streets (McDonalds) for the start of the march. For assistance with carpooling and for meet-up arrangements at the march, contact Jessie Maeck firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-549-7285. The march is just a few city blocks, followed by speeches and music outside the legislative chamber. You will be on your feet from 9 am until noon or a little after, rain or shine. For general information: #moralmarch2019 or https://naacpnc.org/
St. Mark’s is hosting a book drive for Wake Up and Read 2019. Through Feb. 15, Wake Up and Read is collecting new and gently-used books to be distributed to 13 of Wake County’s lowest-performing schools, including St. Mark’s partner school, Wilburn Elementary. St. Mark’s hopes to collect 100 books. A box for the books will be in the St. Mark’s Concourse through Feb. 10. If you prefer to donate money, you can make a check payable to St. Mark’s with “Book Drive” in the memo line. Place your tax-deductible check in the collection plate on Sunday, and we will purchase the books. Quail Ridge Books offers a 20 percent discount on books purchased for this initiative and left at their site. Thank you for your kind consideration of this request.
You are invited to the Congregations for Social Justice Annual Dinner Meeting, Monday, Feb. 4, at 6 pm at Highland United Methodist Church, 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh 27607. Our speaker will be Tom Campbell, moderator of the popular WUNC-TV show NC Spin, which airs at 12:30 pm Sundays. Tom will give us some pointers on how to converse and disagree with honor and respect with our sisters and brothers on “the other side.” The CSJ Social Justice Award will be presented. The dinner is catered by the Interfaith Food Shuttle’s Horizon Catering. St. Mark’s folks will sit together. Please RSVP to Carolyn Edge before Jan. 28 (contact the church office at 919-231-6767 for contact information) ; it’s $15 at the door.
Do you have an interest in flowers, art or gardening? If the answer is yes, you may want to learn how to arrange flowers for our worship services. If the answer is no, maybe you have an interest in learning something new! The Flower Committee would love to add new members to our group. Colleen Aguirre will arrange flowers on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 10 am in the Centrum. If you have an interest but are unsure about your skills or what is involved, come join her. Colleen will demonstrate and give tips while she is arranging the flowers. You will learn about flower arranging in general, what is different about arranging flowers in a church setting and what our committee does at St. Mark’s. This invitation is not just for women. We have men that also enjoy arranging flowers so you are welcomed to attend! Once you express an interest don’t worry, we won’t make you fly solo your first time unless you want to. We are happy to pair new folks with a committee veteran so you can get your feet wet.
Our Racial Reconciliation Book Group begins 2019 discussing the short film Brown Eyes and Blue Eyes. We meet Sunday, Jan. 20, at 12:15 pm in Room 5 of our Community Life Center. Child care will be provided. Shot in a third-grade classroom in 1970 during the Civil Rights movement, the film documents the provocative anti-discrimination exercise designed by teacher Jane Elliott. That spring morning years ago, the blue-eyed children were set apart from the children with brown or green eyes. Elliott pulled out green construction paper armbands and asked each of the blue-eyed kids to wear one. “The brown-eyed people are the better people in this room,” Elliott began. “They are cleaner and they are smarter.” The 15-minute film will be shown. For a preview go to https://tinyurl.com/lztc5ag
Sunday, Jan. 20, 12:15-1:30 pm
in CLC 5;childcare