3601 Seminary Ave
Richmond, VA 23227
Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race book discussion
The Reverend Denise Anderson and the Reverend Jan Edmiston, Co‐Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), have invited the church to read and discuss the book, Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving. Here is a quote from the Rev. Anderson about this book discussion and study “We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Believe it or not, this was really good news to me when I heard it at the end of my first anti‐racism training session. What I understood in a second was that it is okay to be uncomfortable. I heard this in a room full of brown, black, and white people, all with different experiences, all wanting God’s justice to be made real, all committed to loving one another. Thinking about racism in such a setting made me mighty uncomfortable, just as reading this book did. There are two wonderful gifts from this experience, though: when we pay attention to our discomfort, we can learn and change and love each other better, and we are all always (always, always, always!) held in the grace of Christ. Here’s the thing: Being uncomfortable isn’t the only thing going on when reflecting on the stories in this book. What you’ll find by using the questions at the end of the each chapter is that your life is much richer than you thought, it’s more vibrant, and you have way more resources than you thought you did for understanding what’s going on with racism in our country. Learning about how to interrupt racism is part of learning how to be a disciple of Christ. We’re learning how to love God and love others as ourselves. We will read and discuss this book over four sessions: September 24, October 15, November 5 and November 26. Michelle Freeman Owens and April Swofford will lead this class.