Showing posts from April, 2021

One Congregation at a Time

On WPM I heard a story suggested that changes in policing will not happen from the top-down, but by changing our local police departments one at a time. I agree. I believe the same is true of churches. It is good that the National Council of Churches, denominations, and various diocese, synods and conferences are doing racial justice work through truth-telling and conciliation projects, but if local congregations are not engaged, so what?   I am serving on the Racial Justice Movement and Ministries Committee of the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church. Members of the committee and the staff leadership are committed to seeking ways to uncover and dismantle racism, recognizing that this will be years of work, while the urgency is that it happens now. The Wyoming Interfaith Network through its Peace and Justice Team has also taken on anti-racism work. The challenge for both entities is that this not be an activity of a few elite, but that every Tom, Dick and Harry and ev

Aspiring Ally Event Scheduled - Saturday, May 1

Photo at Water Is Life Event, Sunset Park Riverton April 17 The Riverton Peace Mission is hosting a virtual Talking Circle by Zoom for people who want to be allies in efforts like “Justice for Andy” and other campaigns of the Wind River Justice Pod and the Riverton Peace Mission. We seek to build relationships for truth-telling, justice, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples on the Wind River Indian Reservation. We recognize that we well-intentioned white people, me included, can do more harm than good if we fail to have a common base of knowledge about our history and if instead we bring our whiteness to help those less fortunate than we are rather than seeking our own liberation. For example, if we do not understand the origins of policing and are working on police reform and accountability, efforts may only re-enforce colonization. Event: Affinity Aspiring Ally Circle When: Saturday, May 1, 2021, 10 am – noon Lead Facilitator: L’Dawn Olsen, Fort Washakie, Wyoming Equity and Inc

Engage Together

For those who want to stand with Native Americans, a great opportunity is this Saturday beginning at 10 am at Sunset Park here in Riverton brought to us by the Water Protectors. Big Wind, aka Micah Lott, informed us of this environmental justice event where we can join in solidarity with the Anishinaase and Dakota to oppose Line 3 of the Enbridge Pipeline being laid in Northern Minnesota, the original homeland of bands of the Arapaho, and the Dakota Access Pipeline - yes, the same pipeline demonstrators protested in 2015 at Standing Rock. Yesterday I attended a retreat by Zoom sponsored by the United Methodist Women of the Mountain Sky Conference led by Pastor Jean Schein, white, in Cortez, Colorado, and Pastor Norman Mark who is Navaho and both Christian and a follower of Navaho spirituality and who serves three congregations in the Four Corners area. What they reported sounds somewhat like what we are also striving to do in addressing border town issues. It would be wonderful if c