Reconciliation Ministry

Reconciliation Team Book Club

We would like to invite you to participate in a book reading and online discussion group sponsored by the CRMR Reconciliation Committee. We will be suggesting books to read on the topics of race, racism, and awareness. We hope that in reading these books and participating in online discussions our community of readers will be a place where people can strive to live their best lives, achieve personal growth, and generate positive, thoughtful dialogue. Members can come to one another for support, comfort, and shared experiences. While we invite healthy debate, we require respect and good manners from everyone in our online community. Please review our house rules, use common sense, and you will feel right at home.

A book suggestion will be made periodically and posted with discussion questions on our Book Group Facebook page. The questions are meant as a guide and a place to start with your discussions. Feel free to answer any questions, pose some of your own and respond to other contributors. Discussion is the basis for deeper understanding and growth. You might decide to form an in-person reading group with your friends and use the questions as a place to start discussions. Feel free to add insight from these groups to our online threads.

Books for future reading will be posted to allow participants to access the reading material in a timely manner. If books are available through Chalice Press, we will denote that information.

Looking forward to lively discussion and sharing of thoughts. Enjoy!

Our first book suggestion is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Our first questions will be published the first week in July. We will consider holding a Zoom meeting the end of July to discuss the book, more about that later.

To join the book club, please join our Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1367168003479865

The first selection is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.

“In more than twenty years of running diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies, the academic and educator Robin DiAngelo has noticed that white people are sensationally, histrionically bad at discussing racism. Like waves on sand, their reactions form predictable patterns: they will insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted.” They will point to friends and family members of color, a history of civil-rights activism, or a more “salient” issue, such as class or gender. They will shout and bluster. They will cry. In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged—and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy. Why, she wondered, did her feedback prompt such resistance, as if the mention of racism were more offensive than the fact or practice of it?

In a new book, “White Fragility,” DiAngelo attempts to explicate the phenomenon of white people’s paper-thin skin. She argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress—such as, for instance, when someone suggests that “flesh-toned” may not be an appropriate name for a beige crayon. Unused to unpleasantness (more than unused to it—racial hierarchies tell white people that they are entitled to peace and deference), they lack the “racial stamina” to engage in difficult conversations. This leads them to respond to “racial triggers”—the show “Dear White People,” the term “wypipo”—with “emotions such as anger, fear and guilt,” DiAngelo writes, “and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation.”

Katy Waldman for the New Yorker July 23, 2018

Dear Central Rocky Mountain Region Family,

In a letter from your Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) Reconciliation Ministry Team, dated December 2, 2019 information was shared that the ministry has been reconstituted.  The letter also stated that videos expressing the ministry’s “Vision, Values and Mission would be distributed beginning on December 15, 2019.  Unfortunately, with the amount of work still needing to be accomplished in creating the first video (Vision), the Reconciliation Ministry was unable to meet this date.  However, we are happy to announce that the videos are now being released to the region and its congregations! 

The first video is the CRMR Reconciliation Ministry’s Vision.  Again, and as a reminder we are asking that congregations share videos during your Sunday worship services or as deemed appropriate.  The Vision video is being made available for Sunday January 5th with Values and Mission to follow on the 12th and 19th.

Please do not hesitate to contact your CRMR Reconciliation Ministry Team.  We are guided by God’s love and praying a Happy New Year for our Central Rocky Mountain Region community.

Dear Central Rocky Mountain Region Family,

The Reconciliation Ministry is praying that there has been a positive start to your New Year. We want to also thank you for taking the time to share the first of the three Reconciliation Ministry reintroduction videos “Vision,” with your congregations and ask that you please continue to do so in the weeks and month to come. The feedback I have received so far has been very positive!

As promised the second video “Values” is now released and available. Again, and as a reminder we are asking that congregations share videos during your Sunday worship services or as deemed appropriate. The final of the three videos “Mission,” will also be available in the next few days.

We are enthusiastically looking forward to reenergizing this critical conversation and work, partnering with our Central Rocky Mountain Region’s (CRMR) members. Please do not hesitate to contact your CRMR Reconciliation Ministry Team.

Dear Central Rocky Mountain Region Family,

First of all, thank you for sharing “Vision” and “Values” the first two of the three CRMR Reconciliation Ministry reintroduction videos.  The feedback we have received thus far has been very positive!  Again, we ask that you continue to share the Vision and Values videos.  Each of the videos will remain posted on the CRMR website under the Reconciliation Ministry’s tab as well as available on YouTube and Facebook.

“Mission,” which is the last of the three videos is now released and available.  Your Reconciliation Ministry is deeply appreciative of you making the space to share the videos during the sacred time of Sunday worship.  Please share the Mission video with your congregation as is deemed appropriate.

Lastly, your team of Reconciliation Ministry members are eagerly looking forward to opportunities to engage with the CRMR family of congregations.  Our hope is to implement substantive events including everything from engaging our youth and continued training for the leadership and laity, to hosting cultural events and where invited just listening to our congregations’ hopes and needs around reconciliation.  We will be reaching out to you very soon; however, please do not hesitate to contact your CRMR Reconciliation Ministry Team.