What can I do next?

  1. Send a message to lawmakers through the UCC’s “Take Action to End Gun Violence” campaign
  2. Use the “Worship Resources for Juneteenth 2022” from the Rocky Mountain Conference
  3. Connect with a Brave Space collaborating partner to help guide your congregation on their journey to becoming and continue living into being an Anti-Racist Church
  4. Utilize the “White Privilege: Let’s Talk” curriculum
  5. Utilize the “Sacred Conversations to End Racism” curriculum
Greetings on behalf of the Tri-Conference of the United Church of Christ, including Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. I’m Bob Molsberry, the Acting Executive Conference Minister for just these next couple of months. Until the beginning of August, I’ll be in place.

I wanted to share with you a reflection, kind of a prayer reflecting on the recent violence in the news and moving forward into our church-supported anti-violence, anti-racism stance.

How long, oh God, how long?

Another racist attack in an innocent community. This time, with 10 shoppers shot and killed in Buffalo, New York, by a kid with a weapon of war.

How long, oh God, how long?

Another school attacked by another kid with another weapon of war. 19 innocent children and two beautiful teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Followers of Christ grow weary of this carnage. Our hearts continue to break for the victims, their families, their community, and all at-risk populations. So people of color, immigrants, Asians, women, the LGBTQ community, and our innocent babies. We grow weary, but that’s not enough. We lament, but that’s not enough. We lift up our thoughts and prayers for the victims, but that’s not enough in this climate. It’s not enough to be Iowa nice, or even Nebraska nice or South Dakota nice. Nice is better than mean-spirited, I guess, but it falls far short of what is needed now, active resistance. Trying to discern and root out racism in our lives is good too. Looking inward, there are lots of resources that we can turn to to help us uncover our hidden biases, to repent of them, to vow to do better in the future. There’s books to read. There’s documentaries to watch. There are workshops to attend. The conversations to be had. But in a climate of oppression, which is revealing itself increasingly in frequent outbursts of senseless violence, it’s not enough simply to be neutral because neutrality just helps keep this deadly equilibrium in place.

How long, oh God, how long?

Until we become actively anti-racist, uncompromisingly anti-violence and resist the forces of hate, division, supremacy in effective political and cultural ways, then we continue to disappoint God and delay the fulfillment of that peaceable kingdom, peaceable community of Christ’s vision.

How long, oh God?

Well, as long as we permit it. Amen.

Rev. Bob Molsberry
Acting Executive Conference Minister