15 November 2018

Books for a Younger Me

Books from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 Heather R, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio
We've joined a new Sunday school class, and it's still trying to find its footing. We left our previous class after the sabbatical mainly because we wanted a more progressive study of Scripture. I know it's hurt some feelings, and I am disappointed because I loved the people in our previous class and have deep relationships with them. We still see them, of course, our church isn't so big that you can really avoid anyone if you wanted. But it's a different season in our life and things change. Minneapolis certainly changed us.

Anyway, in the new class we're trying out different things and one we're considering is The Wired Word, a resource that takes current events and turns them into Sunday school lessons. For $80/year the leader gets a weekly email with a LOT of information plus discussion questions about 2-3 topics. The one we looked at this last week was about books and their impact on us as people of faith.

One of the questions that stumped me was something like "What book (other than the Bible) do you wish you'd read at a younger age?" Others in the class had good answers, but because of my Swiss cheese memory and despite being a pretty voracious reader, I couldn't think of a good answer. Even now a few days later I don't have a single book I could point to. (One that did come to mind but is not the point is my favorite breastfeeding book by Dr Jack Newman and how I wish I'd had that resource when I was in my nursing relationship with Jane!)

Something I wish I had been more aware of is the colonization of Native Americans in our country. I grew up in a place called Indiahoma, i.e. home of the Indians, and had many classmates and friends who were of Native descent. My attitudes toward them were not always fair, especially when they received school supplies and shoes from the government. Knowing what I do now changes my perspective significantly. But I'm not sure a kid brain could process it fully? But I certainly could have been a less snotty little kid to others!

There's no one book I can point to that's shifted my thinking on this or other matters. But I have read books! I also follow people on social media, especially Twitter, who open my eyes to others' experiences and how words and actions matter.

I signed up to be a Reconciling United Methodist today (who knew you could do that?!), and I think the new Sunday school class will work together to gain a reconciling designation as well. It's a small step toward a reconciling CONGREGATION, which I don't see happening for our church any time soon as much as I wish it would. I will continue to seek steps to seek justice and reconciliation for all people within the United Methodist Church.

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