Just in case no one has ever told you, allow me to be the one. We need you more than our egos, pride, and “church-hurt” inflected mindsets and experiences will allow us to admit.
I’m sure that by this point you’ve heard #TerenceCrutcher, who I intentionally inserted into this piece as a hashtag because that’s the age we’re living in. We’re in the age where the goal is to survive the epidemic of becoming another hashtag, and the fact that you’re reading this means that so far you have survived….so far.
Here’s the thing. As resourceful, revolutionary, brilliant, engaged, saved, supported, educated, and Methodist as one may be, our blackness still poses an actual threat to society. It’s a real thing. This is where find ourselves, and this is where we need you. We don’t need much, but maybe these few things will suffice.
1. We need you to stop invalidating our struggle by redirecting it to another struggle that isn’t relevant. Black lives don’t matter enough to be safe or protected in any space we know of. Police
This is not your time to talk about all of the “good” police officers either. If the ratio of bad to good is still heavily outweighed, then the good ones cannot compensate or eradicate the
Look at it like this. One of the issues the UMC has been trying to proactively address is global warming. Why would one do such a thing? Well, on planet Earth, where we currently reside, it’s an issue. We want to have a planet where our loved ones can breathe and not suffocate to death by
Someone says, “but don’t all planets matter?” I’m sure you are looking at them foolishly because Earth is the one we’re on and it’s the one that’s experiencing this epidemic at
2. We need you to actively preach, teach, and advocate on behalf of the God of justice, peace, and love, whether you are black or not. In true Wesleyan spirit and “table-flipping” Jesus fashion, some of the greatest comfort and conviction one can receive is knowing when they’re not alone. Silence on these issues makes one feel alone. We’re not asking
If you rub some tithe-paying members the wrong way, is that
If the funds are that important to you, or being liked is that important to you, then I guess we have to understand. However, if you want to be prophetic, as John Wesley was, and as Jesus was and calls us to be, then I need you to put on your big-girl/big-boy boots, stand tall and boldly on the word of God, and SAY SOMETHING.
3. We need you not to tell us how to feel. We have to figure out a way that hope can be offered, without being force-fed. We dare not compare ourselves to the likes of our forefathers and foremothers, who have survived WWII, the Civil War, slavery, the Great Depression, early onsets of the Civil Rights movement, the War on Drugs, or the likes.
However, as millennials, we have survived 9-11, gentrification, the War on Black Institutions, the public verbal persecution of our Nations’ president, #TamirRice, #PhilandoCastile, #SandraBland, #AltonSterling, #MikeEvans, #TravonMartin, #TerenceCrutcher, and many others.
PTSD is real. Anxiety and fear
Let us hurt. Let us experience how we feel.
You OFFER joy, peace, hope, peace and the like. However, it is God’s job to give it.
We need the space to feel EVERYTHING we’re feeling, safely. And suppressing it is not the same as it
4. We need you to
We need you. We need the space to wrestle and disagree. We need the space to discern and figure out what God wants us to do and how to respond. We need the light in the darkness, the life in dead spaces, and the calmness upon the stormy see to be represented at the table. We can’t always articulate what we need to say.
As millennials, we do have a VERY different understanding of the role of the church than our parents do, but we’re honest. We tell the truth, and the truth is we can’t make it, and won’t make it, without you. We are
Thank you for always being there when we needed you before. Let’s continue to be there even
Signed by Valerie, a black UMC millennial who fears becoming the next hashtag