Racism Through the Lens of White Privilege: A Spiritual Quest

Webinar Offered Through Spiritual Direction Colorado

DATES: Saturdays: Sept. 26, Oct. 3 & Oct. 10

TIME: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm MDT

White people often experience race and racism as belonging to others rather than being our issue as well. We need to become aware that we are an integral part of systemic, structural, and institutional racism. As we who have unearned advantages come to terms with our white privilege, we become more effective in dismantling institutional oppression and unjust systems. This work is an essential part of our spiritual journeys as it guides our discovery of who we are and how we are called to be in this turbulent time.

This webinar is presented by Reverend Jane Vennard. Jane was called to the ministry of teaching and spiritual direction and ordained in 1987 by the United Church of Christ. She is retired senior adjunct faculty of spiritual formation at the Iliff School of Theology, a spiritual director in private practice and the author of eight books. In her retirement Jane has turned her attention and her teaching to racism and white privilege.

Everyone is encouraged to attend this free event.

Read More and Register HERE

"I believe that the work of dismantling white supremacy, the work of dismantling racism is work that will heal all of us

whatever our racial and ethnic identities may be." 

White Supremacy is a system that has made its way into our individual and collective minds, hearts and souls here in the United States (and indeed, around the world). It took centuries to develop and most basically, it claims that people of European descent who have pale (“white”) skin are better than everyone else. It has embedded this belief into systems at all levels of our society and often without many of us (especially those of us with white skin) even noticing. 

We know that the premise of white supremacy is false. As Christians we proclaim that  all people are created in God’s image and that God came to earth in the form of a human being, Jesus, who was a dark-skinned Palestinian Jew, and whose family fled to Egypt as refugees. In his ministry, Jesus’ goal was to call Jews and Gentiles alike to the basic Jewish premise that we are called first and foremost to love one another and God. Jesus preached that God’s kingdom was more real, more powerful and more promising than Caesar’s could ever be.

Part of following Jesus is claiming for ourselves that our first commitment is to loving God and our second is to loving our neighbors as ourselves. In order to do this, in order to love God, our neighbors AND ourselves, we need to engage in the difficult, painful, liberating and life-giving work of anti-racism.

Though race itself is not real (it is a social construct), racism is, and it hurts all of us.

Through an on-going Adult Education series, we will offer opportunities to engage with the history of race (how it was created and by whom) and how it has been used in the United States to discriminate against people with black or brown skin. Participants will be invited to explore and reflect on how white supremacy and racism have impacted them personally and how they may have benefited from and been complicit in this system. This on-going series will be offered in part, and you are encouraged to participate as you are able and interested. If you come across material that you would like to share or a particular discussion that you would like to lead, please reach out to Pastor Thandiwe. 

Through this learning, we seek to empower ourselves and one another to take action that will make our homes, families, congregation and wider community a more inclusive, just and loving community for ALL God’s children.

We believe that this work invites all of us to spiritual healing.


Composed collaboratively by Pastor Thandiwe and Joel Pancoast (Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church)

Signed by 30+ Faith Leaders

Published in the Reporter Herald on June 19th

To Our Beloved Loveland Community,

We write to you as faith leaders representing a diversity of Christian denominations here in Loveland. We find ourselves moved by love to respond to the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. While many of us strive to keep politics out of our congregations, we believe that this is not a political concern but a Christian concern and a human concern. We feel convicted by Christ’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves, and in this moment, we want to invite each of you to a place of love.

Keep reading...

Teaching inclusion, love of neighbor and love of self begins as early as teaching language and reading books. As part of our congregation's work to teach the message that all people are God's beloved children, that all children are curious, adventuresome, beautiful, brave and created in God's image, we are looking to expand our collection of children's books for our Cozy Corner in the narthex, our Nursery and our Children's Worship room. These books have largely been recommended by Carrie Johansing, an educator who works primarily with emerging English language learners. You are invited to donate any book from this list (or a children's book that has been meaningful to you in expanding our sense of all people created in God's image) in memory of someone you love or in honor of a child for whom you want a better world. These books do not focus solely on race but also depict children of different religious and socio-economic backgrounds, with families that look different, children within LGBTQ families or who are exploring their own sense of gender. These stories explore immigration, culture, ethnicity, race, language and gender. Their messages are all messages of strength, resilience, hope and most of all love. 

Read, Wonder, Listen: Stories from the Bible for Young Readers by Laura Alary

- Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

- Hair Love by Matthew Cherry

- Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

- Love by Matt de la Pena

- All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon

- Julian is A Mermaid by Jessica Love

- What is God's Name by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

- How Does God Make Things Happen? by Karen Kushner and Lawrence Kushner

- God Loves the World by Gary Bower

- The Peace Book by Todd Parr

- It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

Cookies and Cake & The Families We Make by Jennifer L. Egan