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) tri-weekly newsletter, though the schedule may change occasionally. Some editions will be a deep dive into a particular issue (you can find links to these at the end of the newsletter). Other editions (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!
Now let me suggest first that if we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. No individual can live alone, and as long as we try, the more we are going to have war in this world. Now the judgment of God is upon us, and we must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools...
It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese [person]. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half of the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.
"On most weekends, Tyre Nichols would head to the city park, train his camera on the sky and wait for the sun to set.
“Photography helps me look at the world in a more creative way. It expresses me in ways I cannot write down for people,” he wrote on his website. He preferred landscapes and loved the glow of sunsets most, his family has said.
“My vision is to bring my viewers deep into what I am seeing through my eye and out through my lens,” Nichols wrote. “People have a story to tell, why not capture it.”
Nichols, a 29-year-old father, was on his way home from taking pictures of the sky on Jan. 7, when police pulled him over. He was just a few minutes from the home he shared with his mother and stepfather, when he was brutally attacked by five Memphis police officers.
“Nobody’s perfect, nobody. But he was damn near,” his mother, RowVaughn Wells, said at a news conference this week, moments after she watched the video of her son being beaten. “He was damn near perfect.”...
Friends at a memorial service this week described him as joyful and lovable.
“This man walked into a room, and everyone loved him,” said Angelina Paxton, a friend who traveled to Memphis from California for the service...
When he wasn’t working, he went to the park to skateboard and take pictures. His website, called This California Kid, starts with an invitation: “Welcome to the world through my eyes.”
He included a gallery of what he considered his masterpieces: bridges and railroad tracks rendered in black and white, the neon lights of Beale Street at night. He took pictures of pink flowers, sunsets over the Mississippi River, fields of grass, statues of Elvis. He highlights a quote from another photographer: “A good photographer must love life,” it begins..."
AN UPCOMING EVENT
The history and theology of Christianity is unfortunately intertwined with the colonizer impulse, to the detriment of many indigenous cultures. Even today, Christian ideas, perspectives, language, practices, and systems bear the marks of this impulse, having been formed with the colonizer mindset as the default. Join us as Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, farmer, author, activist, scholar, distinguished speaker/teacher and wisdom keeper, using the lens of indigenous spirituality, will speak on how Christianity can be disentangled from the precepts of colonialism and returned to its core message.
"An empowering handbook on how to have candid conversations around race and become a better advocate, written by a Black woman and a white woman who ask and answer 20 common, uncomfortable-but-critical questions about racism.
Many people struggle to have honest conversations about race, even those who consider themselves allies or identify as anti-racist. For anyone who wants to have better, more productive discussions, COURAGEOUS DISCOMFORT is an empowering handbook that teaches you how to do just that."
SECRETS OF HEAVEN 690
In addition it should be realized that one community is never utterly and completely like another, nor one member within a community like any other member. Instead unanimous and harmonious variety of all exists, and these variations have been so ordered by the Lord that they strive towards one single end, which is attained through love and faith in Him. From this arises their unity. For the same reason one heaven and form of heavenly joy is never utterly and completely like another. Indeed variations in love and faith are what determine the nature of heaven and its joy.
FROM THE SPIRIT
Heart of my shattered heart,
who will soothe the buried lament?
Who will pour oil on the biting pang that never dies?
Christ, do you hear the words held back?
You are there, a love most healing.
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.