#AntiRacismForLent, a 40 day daily practice

I invite our white friends to join us in #RepentingofRacism throughout the 40 days of Lent by engaging in the habits and prayers we will post each day, the first several below, the rest can be found on Repenting Of Racism For Lent, on Facebook.

The focus, #AntiRacismforLent, was inspired by our brother in ministry, Andre Henry, specifically asking white people to take on the mantle of educating other white people about the current state of racial injustice.

Here’s how it will work:

1) We invite you to pray with us.

Prayer helps us self-examine and repent. We repent by asking God to reveal ways that we have allowed destructive, unjust (racist), circumstances to continue. We admit we have done so. We ask God to help us remove the conscious and unconscious white supremacy within our hearts and communities. Then, we ask God to remake us so that we can live differently.

We encourage you to print the prayer we have attached to this post, and to make praying this prayer a daily habit throughout Lent.

2) We invite you to try on habits of justice.

These are actions intended to help us advocate for racial justice in tangible ways. This week’s theme is #Prayer. Examples of future themes are #Politics&Power and #Communication.

3) We invite you to include community.

Growth is best sustained when it is shared! On Fridays we will post an activity you can do with #Friends&Family, Saturdays will be for #DialogueDays, and Sundays will be for sharing how our weekly experience went, #CommunityConversation.

By the grace and help of God, may this season of Lent change us all.

Day 1: A Daily Prayer:

God our Creator, We affirm that You have made all people in Your image, Instilling us with dignity, Calling us good.

You created us in a beautiful array of colors, Each one, fearfully and wonderfully made.

God, in overt and subtle ways, we have been taught a lie: The lie of white supremacy. The lie that white lives matter more than other lives. This lie denies Your image In our non-white brothers and sisters. We confess of consciously and unconsciously falling prey to this lie.

Eternal God, we confess the sins of our ancestors. Ancestors who built systems to enrich and empower themselves on the backs of millions of people of color. They carried out genocide against indigenous peoples. They enslaved Africans. They used and abused immigrants. The list of injustices goes ever on.

God, we confess to actively and passively maintaining a system that sins. It denies healthcare to the needy, Incarcerates at a profit, Unjustly shoots precious lives. When any of Your children suffer, our souls suffer too.

We confess that we fear the cost of following You, O God: If we stand up for justice, Our reputation may suffer. If we stop ignoring cries of injustice, We will lose the illusion of innocence. Ending our sin of “no action” means we have to get to work. To “take up our cross” is painful.

And so, God of Justice, we come to You. Reveal to us the unacknowledged racism within our hearts. Surface our unconscious preferences. Give us the courage to withstand honest self-examination. Give us the strength to fight for those who suffer.Give us Your vision of the community You designed us to become.

God of Mercy and Hope, Convict our hearts, stir our spirits, transform our minds. May this transformation create a ripple that lasts beyond this Lenten season. May it extend beyond our personal lives and into our communities. Make us agents of Your liberating work in the world.



Day 2: Video Reflection

For today’s #HabitofJustice, we invite you to find a comfortable position, take a few deep breaths, and watch this video: Author Jen Hatmaker On Raising Black Kids In America: ‘This Is On Us … 

Having watched Jen’s story, we invite you to enter into prayer, noticing:

– What moment was most life-giving or hopeful for you? Speak to God about this moment of consolation. What might God be inviting you to notice about yourself or the world?

– What moment did you find most upsetting or concerning? Speak to God about this moment. What might God be inviting you to be, do or change?

Write these reflections down to carry with you into the rest of the 40 days.

Today’s #HabitofJustice is an opportunity to explore an experience of #WhiteGuilt* in a way that avoids burdening people of color.

You may want to journal as you go through this contemplative exercise, or simply find a quiet place to reflect.

Begin by taking a few deep, centering breaths.
Now, call to mind an experience you have had of hurting a person of color.
Picture this person sitting before you.
Gaze into their their face.
Imagine how they may be feeling.
Now, imagine apologizing to them. Imagine the exact words you would say.
Next, imagine telling them what you will do in this world to make amends.
Ask God’s forgiveness.
Finally, write down one specific change you can make in attitude or behavior to move toward more equitable relationships with people of color.

*This article explains what “white guilt” is and how it impacts us:  

Day 4 & 5, #CommunityConversation

The #HabitofJustice on this #DialogueDay is to engage in at least 15 minutes of discussion with another white person regarding what you’ve learned about yourself this week. What is one behavior or attitude which you are committed to change? Pay close attention to your own implicit biases, especially ones that frame people of color in negative ways, and how a system that favors white people over everyone else has made your life more comfortable.

#AntiRacismForLent is being facilitated by Lydia Lockhart, Matthew John Schmitt, Meggie Anderson-Sandoval, Lauren Grubaugh, Daniel Russell, Luke Arthur, and Maddie Joy, as sparked by an idea from Andre Henry. We invite you to join us in action and in conversation. Keep up with the daily habits of justice on the @RepentingofRacismForLent Facebook page