Swedenborgians in Action Against Racism
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

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!
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From: Carry On: Reflections For a New Generation by John Lewis


"Courage reflects your spirit. It reflects soothing deep within all of us who would rather defy an authority than go along with something that is morally wrong. Raw courage makes us stand up and speak out in the face of fear. Courage helps us overcome doubts and reservations. it's not something that comes from reason or logic but is borne from the heart and the divine purpose to take the right path. 

As a child, I remember hearing the Scripture: "Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). I whispered this to myself during the most harrowing moments of the movement. In May 1961, we Freedom Riders were locked in the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, because there was an angry mob of men waiting outside the church who were brandishing baseball bats and lead pipes. We thought that we were going to die right there.

But that morning President John F. Kennedy saved us when he federalized the Alabama National Guard. Federal marshals came to protect and guard us. The sorrow had been lifted, and we were able to keep marching toward a more just future. We believed that righteousness would always prevail in the end. WE had to believe. There was no time for equivocating. The president demonstrated courage by protecting us. He didn't care what the political outcome would be. He didn't care if people disagreed. Courage can feel uncomfortable. Courage is not about being popular, it's about purpose.

There may be a time when history calls upon you. There may be an injustice that has hurt your friends or fellow citizens. How will you respond? Will you support those who are oppressed? By listening to the voice within, you will find the courage and power to do what is right, even if it is unpopular at the time. This inner courage will command you to respond to fighting with peace, and respond to hate with love."

From: Nine Self-Care Reminders for the Over-Committed Activist by Christine Boyle

"...Self-care is a necessity, and an integral part of our collective work for a more just world. Our social and economic systems tell us that self-care is a luxury, reserved for those with excessive privilege. But equality doesn’t just mean equal access to tangible services, housing, health care and healthy food, but also equal and adequate opportunities to sink into the beauty of life and love. If I am fighting for that right, I must live it too.

Reclaiming a right to be worthy of care is an important challenge to the dominant system. As author and activist Audre Lorde said, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” We need to recast self-care so that it isn’t about luxury and a privilege reserved only for some. Instead self-care can be a tool for challenging dominant stories of what success and happiness look like, by building new, community-oriented models of health, happiness and a good life.

...It’s a balancing act. We are facing deepening inequality and weakening democratic structures amid a major climate crisis. For increasing numbers of people this is not an abstraction, but a daily experience. It’s an urgent time, an all-hands-on-deck kind of moment.

How do we bring out all those hands? Not by burning out as heroes and martyrs for the cause, but by modeling engaged and alive leadership, and by building movements that are motivated by urgency without succumbing to the vicious cycle of “never enough.” 

...It doesn’t happen alone. That self-centered, individualistic interpretation of self-care that we instinctually want to reject is not only politically problematic, it’s also ineffective. We are interdependent creatures. I may be the best source of what I need in a given situation, but I am almost always unable to meet that need entirely on my own. And even when I am able to meet my own needs, I won’t be able to every time. The truth is that we need one another: good and sustainable self-care means asking for help, and building networks of support that stick with us through the long haul."


Join us for our next thought-provoking SAAR movie night watch party on December 10th at 7:30pm Eastern. The movie will be: The Long Walk Home, inspired by actual events surrounding the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

After the watch party, we will have a time of discussion on Zoom, with question prompts to get things going. Hope to see you there!


Meeting ID: 896 0534 9511
Passcode: SAAR2021

Please contact Terrie Crenshaw with any questions or issues logging in:

For everything that flows from the Lord... is freely given. The Lord does, it is true, demand humility, worship, thanksgiving, and much else from a person, which seem like repayment, so that His gifts do not seem to be free. But the Lord does not demand those things for His own sake, for the Divine derives no glory at all from a person's humility, worship, or thanksgiving. It is utterly inconceivable that any self-love should exist within the Divine, causing Him to require such actions for His own sake. Rather, they are required for humankind's own sake, for if someone possesses humility they are able to accept good from the Lord, since in that case they have been parted from self-love and its evils which stand in the way of their accepting it. Therefore the Lord desires a state of humility in a person for that person's sake, because the Lord can flow in with heavenly good when that state exists in them. The same applies to worship and thanksgiving.
Pulling out of the old scarred skin
(old rough thing I don't need now
I strip off
slip out of
leave behind)

I slough off deadscales
flick skinflakes to the ground

Shedding toughness
peeling layers down
to vulnerable stuff

And I'm blinking off old eyelids
for a new way of seeing

By the rock I rub against
I'm going to be tender again

From Blues Baby: Early Poems by Harryette Mullen

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Police Brutality
Intersectionality and LGBTQ Rights
White Privilege/White Fragility
Voting Rights and Voter Supression
Indigenous Rights
Racism in Education
Racism in Healthcare
Images of God
Anti-Racism Resources for Kids
Black History Month
Intersectional Feminism/Anti-Asian Racism
Environmental Racism
Critical Race Theory


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. 

(Editors: Rev. Shada Sullivan and Lori Gayheart)

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