Hi everyone. This newsletter is for Swedenborgians (and friends) who want to learn how to support anti-racism. But we are not going to pretend that we are experts here; we are learning alongside you. There are lots of activists and educators who have been working in the anti-racism field for a long time. Our plan (in the words of Meera Mohan-Graham) is to Absorb and Amplify those voices, and follow their lead.
As we all strive to learn, change, and act together, we invite you join the Manifold Angels Facebook group for connection throughout the journey. The work is just beginning. If you would like to be added to the email list, please contact email@example.com
This is an (approximately) bi-weekly newsletter, though the schedule may change occasionally. One issue per month will be a deep dive into a particular issue (you can find links to these at the end of the newsletter). The alternating issues (like this one) will be more personal/devotional, aiming to help build stamina and commitment for the ongoing work for racial justice. Thanks for joining us!
For Black women in Congress, maternal mortality hits close to home. The Black Maternal Health Caucus seeks change.
"When Alma Adams’s daughter complained of abdominal pain during a difficult pregnancy, her doctor overlooked her cries for help. The North Carolina congresswoman’s daughter had to undergo a last-minute caesarean section. She and her baby daughter, now 16, survived.
“It could have gone another way. I could have been a mother who was grieving her daughter and granddaughter,” Adams told the Guardian, following a week in which the White House highlighted the crisis of pregnancy-related deaths among Black women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women die at three times the rate of white women.
For Adams and other Black women in Congress, who formed the Black Maternal Health Caucus, the issue hits close to home. Last week, during Black Maternal Health Week, they talked about how their experiences and the work of advocates had propelled legislation, known as the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, to fight a healthcare crisis that disproportionately affects Black women regardless of income.
...“Either you have a mother, you are a mother, or you know women who are moms,” Adams said. “When we raise the tide for Black women, who are among the most marginalized and the most vulnerable, we ultimately raise the tide for all women.”
In God's Holy Darkness, Sharei Green and Beckah Selnick deconstruct anti-Blackness in Christian theology by celebrating instances in the story of God's people when darkness, blackness, and night are beautiful, good, and holy. From the darkness at the beginning of creation to the blackness of the sky on the day when Christ's birth was announced to the shepherds, children learn that blackness is something to celebrate as an important element of the life of faith. Lush and vibrant illustrations by artist Nikki Faison underscore the mystery and beauty of these wondrous acts of God's holy darkness.
Perfect for reading and anti-racist reflection in worship, as an affirmation and celebration with children, and at home with caregivers, God's Holy Darkness is a gift to cherish.
Almost everyone believes that peace consists in being kept safe from enemies and in serenity reigning at home and among companions. That kind of peace is not however what is meant here but another kind that is immensely superior, namely heavenly peace... No one can be granted this peace unless they are led by the Lord and abide in the Lord, that is, unless they are in heaven where the Lord is the All in all. For heavenly peace enters in when the desires that spring from self-love and love of the world are removed; for those desires take peace away, molesting a person inwardly and causing them at length to consider rest to consist in unrest and peace in molestations, because they consider delight to consist in evil desires. All the time a person is subject to these desires they cannot by any means know what peace is; indeed during all that time they believe that such peace is of no worth.
FROM THE SPIRIT
Thanks be to you O God
that I have risen this day
to the rising of life itself.
May it be a day of blessing,
O God of every gift,
A day of new beginnings given.
Help me to avoid every sin
and the source of every sin to forsake
and as the mist scatters
from the crest of the hills
may each ill haze clear
from my soul O God.
From: Celtic Prayers from Iona by J. Philip Newell
Just a note: the various viewpoints included in these newsletters (either by authors of content or the organizations they represent) do not necessarily represent the viewpoint or position of the Swedenborgian Church of North America (SCNA). The editors present them in the spirit of learning and reflection.