Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Edmonton is spearheading two different approaches to tackle the problem of racism. The previous edition of the Synod Scene focused on the Solidarity & Sharing Zoom meeting, which is providing a safe place for people who have experienced racism to share and be supported.
While anyone is welcome to join that conversation (next meeting, November 17), Good Shepherd is also hosting a Zoom book club dedicated to discussing books that open up the topic of racism. So far, it’s proved especially helpful for people who perhaps haven’t had opportunity to discuss the topic in depth before.
The Ven. Jordan Ware, Archdeacon for Social Justice and Community Connection and rector of Good Shepherd, says from her perspective the first meeting “went fantastic, better than I could have expected.”
Attended by parishioners from Good Shepherd, All Saints’ Cathedral and Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Ware says, “People were honest and open about their perspectives and struggles with the book and the author. We talked about what motivates [the author], an atheist, to work for justice and what similar and different motivations we might have as Christians. There was great variation in experience discussing this topic, but nobody spoke down to other people, just patiently shared what they knew so that we could all grow. I myself learned a few new things!”
Participant Sherylin Trompetter enjoyed it as well.
“I agree that people were very respectful. I felt we got to a certain level of understanding and questioning, but there is still a long way to go on this journey together. It takes time for people to be willing to be vulnerable, especially with a topic like this. I would have liked to see more generational and ethnic diversity as I think that would have also provided a bit of a different discussion, but I think there is a lot of potential as we move through various books on the topic.”
The next meeting takes place October 26 from 7:30-9:30pm. If you would like to join the discussion, email Ware at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link. The book will be, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Locally, the book is available through Glass Bookshop, which delivers for free within Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park.