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"Privilege and Promise" All in One Place

“Privilege and Promise: This is America” was our long-term, overarching project the past few months. The “Privilege and Promise” enterprise envelopes 8 sermons, 8 Zoom conversations, and 7 blog posts.

Admittedly, all of that is…a lot.

I’ve recently been told that a good number of you, my dear faithful readers, missed some previous posts. As in, you weren’t aware they existed. What could possibly be going on in your lives and in the world that keeps you from putting ‘Reading Pastor Dave’s blog’ at the top of your To Do list??

While it is certainly true that the totality of the series was a lot to take, and it is demonstrably true that there is so much happening in the world right now, I also firmly believe that this series — and the desire to become actively antiracist that prompted it — is the most important project we’ve ever done.

I know that reads like hyperbole. Yet, I stand by it.

White* supremacy is the most pervasive and destructive threat our country and our Christianity faces. Basically all our issues and problems are direct result of (or at the very least have ties to) White supremacy. Our neighbors need us to become actively antiracist. Our faith in Jesus the Anointed One, the Liberating King, the Christ (three ways of expressing the same title) compels us to become actively antiracist.

The “Privilege and Promise: This is America” project can help us move along that path. But I also know that it can be a pain to sort through all the sermons and blog posts to find the ones you’re looking for. So much of a pain that you might, understandably, give up before you finished. We don’t want that. Hence, this post.

I can’t recreate the 8 Zoom conversations because we didn’t record them. We chose not to record them as a (successful!) way to encourage more honest questions and conversations. But I can link to the sermons and the blog posts that offer more commentary and resources to further your understanding and support you on your journey toward becoming actively antiracist.

Here, then, are all those links gathered in one place. Watch, read, and respond as you are so moved.

Leave a comment below and/or email me your thoughts at

The "Privilege and Promise: This is America" SERMONS:

Prologue: The Past is Prologue

Part 1: Moving Beyond Fear

Part 2: Being Colorblind

Part 3: He Said, She Said, We Should Say

Part 4: Seeding Growth

Part 5: Good Trouble Required

Part 6: Complacent, Complicit, or Converted?

Part 7: God’s Law and Order

The "Privilege and Promise: This is America" BLOG POSTS:

 Next Steps

Resources for Continuing the Conversation

More Resources for Continuing the Conversation

Intersectionality and Racism

March into Good Trouble

“This is America”

The Chief Who Listens (Ok, this one actually does capture the essence of the Zoom chat without breaking any confidences.)

*The AP style has recently changed to capitalize Black but not White. I’ve read arguments for this distinction and arguments against it. I will capitalize both because I find most compelling the reasoning that we who are White have for too long hidden behind a generic cultural sense that positions us as the default. I am convinced that has contributed to us being blinded by our White privilege. 

Posted by Pastor Dave Buerstetta with

"This is America"

We said from the beginning that this sermon series, “Privilege and Promise: This is America,” would make us all uncomfortable. We said from the beginning that this series would make us incensed and mournful. We said from the beginning that this series would challenge us but also, we hoped, teach us. We said from the beginning that racism is layered, multifaceted, and intersectional. We said from the beginning that subtext abounds in this series through our titles, subtitles, images, and words. Today in this weekly sharing of resources to accompany this series, I lay bare one major piece of that subtext.

“This is America.” Why that phrase as our subtitle? One answer is, as I’m sure many of you figured out weeks ago, Donald Glover. Or, more accurately for this particular piece of art, his stage name: Childish Gambino. Two years ago, Glover/Gambino released a music video entitled, "This is America."

Warning: This video is disturbing. This video is also brilliant. It is about the Black experience in USAmerica, so it cannot help but be disturbing. I am convinced we — all of us, but especially we who are White* — need to watch this and try to take it in. We need to be disturbed.

 

If that video upsets you, consider this: Today, August 28th, is the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington at which John Lewis was the youngest speaker and at which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. 57 years. You know the one wherein Dr. King offered that line, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The line White people love to quote as a way to decry Affirmative Action, one of the few programs actually offering some small form of reparations, actually working to bend the moral arc of our universe toward justice.

Honestly, how much has actually changed for Black folks in the USA in 57 years? That’s why this video is necessary and necessarily disturbing.

And if we — especially we who are White — are tired of this racism conversation after just six (nonconsecutive) weeks? Imagine how tired all our Black and Brown neighbors are of living with it every second of every day of their lives.

Watch the “This is America” music video above today.

Engage in worship with us Sunday.

Join the conversation on Zoom after worship, in which Woodridge Police Chief Brian Cunningham is scheduled to participate.

Together we can be the actively antiracist church Jesus calls us to be.

Leave a comment below and/or email me your thoughts

*I continue to include this note because this change continues to be jarring for me too. Why is White capitalized? The AP style has recently changed to capitalize Black but not White. I’ve read arguments for this distinction and arguments against it. I will capitalize both because I find most compelling the reasoning that we who are White have for too long hidden behind a generic cultural sense that positions us as the default. I am convinced that has contributed to us being blinded by our White privilege and unable or unwilling to see the reality of racism in our systems and in ourselves.

Posted by Pastor Dave Buerstetta with

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