Call to Confession: Week 2

Call to Confession: Race White Privilege, and the Church

Photo Credit: David Wigger

Photo Credit: David Wigger

Week 2

Vernon Broyles CarouselLiving History – Vernon Broyles, Interview by the Presbyterian Historical Society

My early life is remembered as very happy; when I was almost 4, my dad was called to the North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. We ended up moving into a neighborhood called Ansley Park; it is really the closest residential area to downtown Atlanta. My dad lived out what was an absolute trust in the providence of God. I guess for me it’s almost genetic, I think I inherited that. And at Union Seminary in Richmond, there was a group of us who got involved in demonstrations. There were two department stores – Thalhimers and Miller & Roads – that had lunch counters that were segregated. A few of us from the seminary got organized to go and demonstrate there, along with the other people. Continue Reading

Living History – Bettie J. DurrahInterview with the Presbyterian Historical Society

Bettie Durrah CarouselI’m Bettie J. Durrah, ruling elder at Radcliffe Presbyterian Church, and I’ve been a member of this church for many years. I went to a women’s college. My three sisters and I went to a women’s college here in Atlanta, Spelman College. But also as an African American woman who has seen injustice, I just try to push for justice issues, write about justice issues. The only thing is as I became involved in the church, I just continued, and it wasn’t hard. Nothing was forcing me, it was just who I was. Continue Reading

Kerri Allen CarouselWhy I Haven’t Felt at Home in a Presbyterian Church for Three YearsRev. Kerri Allen

I did not grow up Presbyterian, and I can’t identify as a ‘cradle’ or ‘prenatal’ Presbyterian, or any of the ways that I have heard born-and-bred Presbyterians describe themselves in order to firmly establish their Presbyterian street cred. No, as my longtime Presbyterian pastor once told my Committee on the Preparation for Ministry (CPM), “Kerri chooses to be Presbyterian.” Continue Reading

“Lift Every Voice: Racism, Class, and Power” – Advocacy Training Weekend 2016

Advocacy Training WeekendIn our neighborhoods and around the world, social, economic, corporate, and political powers are working to reduce citizens’ access to decision-making. These practices violate the rights and silence the voices of those most affected by these decisions and severely hamper the ability of all citizens to determine the best policies for our communities and nations. As Christians, God calls us to lift up all voices so that we the people might regain influence in the policies that affect our nation and our world. Come to Advocacy Training Weekend April 15-18 and lift up your voice for transparent and participatory government at home and abroad. Continue Reading

Fern Cloud CarouselLiving History – Fern Cloud, Interview with the Presbyterian Historical Society

My name is Fern Cloud. I was born in the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota reservation in Northeastern South Dakota. In my formative years, my mother was definitely the person who really helped me, shaped me, I suppose, to who I am today. Her foundation for me was “Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t swear, and never get on welfare.” Continue Reading

Racism in South Africa Remains Alive and the Cause of Much Pain and Anger, Rev. Deon Snyman

Deon Snyman CarouselSouth Africa is a deeply wounded society. More than 340 years of racist colonial and apartheid rule impacted the black majority very negatively. During this period, people of colour were not allowed to live where they wanted. The white minority owned more than seventy percent of the land, and the only land available to black South Africans was in the unfertile Apartheid-era Bantustans. There were separate amenities for black and white people, and citizens were not allowed to marry a person of a different race. White South Africans were perceived to be superior to their black compatriots; the dignity and humanity of people of colour were not honoured. White business accumulated wealth through the exploitation of black labour, and there was a deliberate attempt by successive racist governments to prevent people of colour from developing to their full potential. Continue Reading

Doug-Tilton CarouselRacism Across Borders: Belhar, South Africa, and the United States, Doug Tilton

At the end of 2015, with South Africa’s summer and “festive season” in full swing, a real estate agent from Durban took to social media to complain about the crowded and unkempt state of a local beach. The commentator, a middle-aged white woman, expressed her dismay using highly insulting racist epithets. Her incendiary posting—and several similar volleys from other individuals at roughly the same time—touched off a firestorm of protest and recrimination, causing many in South Africa’s supposedly “Rainbow Nation” to confront—or deny—the forces of racism that continue to shape and distort most social interactions, whether explicitly or covertly. Sound familiar? Continue Reading

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