by Kathye Hamm
One of my least favorite things is coming up with a topic for newsletter articles. It can be tricky to figure out what people care about, and then balance that with what is going on in the church and the world, as many of you know.
I had the usual struggle this week. Clearly, there’s a lot going on in the world that I could address, but as I was thinking about all of that, I had the thought – “I don’t know if I have the bandwidth or energy to step into the space of talking about racism and misogyny and all that’s in the air right now”…and then I realized what I thought and was smacked upside the head with my own privilege – because it is a choice for me to speak about many of these things. I can choose to, or not to, speak out against racism, homophobia, and the many other ways that people are diminished and are ‘other-ized’. Misogyny is another matter – that I do deal with on a regular basis, but being a white, middle-class woman also means that my experiences are different from my sisters of color and those who live in poverty. And I get a choice about whether to ‘go there’ in what I say, write and post about – and even what I choose to actually see.
As I was having this moment of self-awareness and self-incrimination and self-confession, the #decolonizelutheranism movement came to mind. This is a movement where to buy topiramate online seeking to claim Lutheranism as a faith for all people, and de-link it from ethnic identity, specific foods (lefse or lutefisk, anyone), and the largely Northern European heritage that North American Lutheranism was birthed from. It’s a movement to talk about theology and practice in ways that include all people – not just Germans and Scandinavians, but all beloved children of God. It’s a movement that says a Lutheran doesn’t look a certain way, or talk a certain way, or appreciate specific foods, or get certain jokes.
I grew up with these things, and they are not unimportant to my life…they are just not what defines my faith – a faith that Martin Luther called “a living daring confidence in God’s grace.” I was born into this faith, and I grew up with this theology and the knowledge of God’s deep and abiding love for me and for all of God’s people and creation. Having lived this this gift for my whole life, I want to make sure that all people are welcome in this church. That means listening to the experiences of others, and sometimes being smacked upside the head with my own privilege and my own assumptions.
If you’d like to learn more about #decolonizelutheranism here are some suggestions:
God’s peace on the journey,
Pr. Katy Grindberg
PS: my deep thanks to Pr. Tuhina Rasche (Grace, Palo Alto) and Pr. Tita Valeriano (Interim, St. Mark’s, San Francisco) for their wisdom, leadership and encouragement. God bless you both!
November 15, 2017
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