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Decolonizing Christianity

Greetings WAC Community,

The king said to me, “What is it you want?”  Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so I can rebuild it.” – Nehemiah 2:4-5

This was the passage of today’s sermon by Rev. Dr. Herbert Nelson, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  As Nehemiah, we, too, must leave our comfortable roles to repair the damages of injustice.

I am writing this from Washington DC and only a few minutes ago, I returned from a march to the Pentagon for a prayer vigil.  The last three days have been filled with lessons at the 15th Annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days with 1,000 people gathered, not counting many more attending by live streaming of many of the events.  As I listened, I wondered, what would I want to share with you in this message?  Perhaps it would be:

  1. “Make America great again” really means “Make America white again.”

  2. Idolatry is extreme materialism where we are obsessed with always having more and militarism where we willingly sacrifice the lives of our sons and daughters believing that might makes right.

  3.  Evangelicals are not the scapegoats; all Christian churches need to take responsibility.

  4. Steps for repair are (1) Study and reflection, (2) Resistance/action, (3) Refuge for those who suffer.

  5. There’s no place for neutrality; we must choose sides.

  6. We need to talk about sin, injustice and immorality.

  7. Churches are not to minister to the servants of the state, but to be the conscience of government.

  8. We need to learn to become comfortable with being annoying.

  9. The sharing of a soft-spoken person who is marginalized many times being a young brown skinned female who is Muslim and lesbian.

  10. Beloved community means that homelessness, poverty and hunger are not tolerated.

  11. Arrogance is saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for life.”  Instead, what about giving people fishing poles and vehicles to get the food to market?

  12. 20 million people are at risk of starving during the next 6 months.

  13. 900,000 veterans in the U.S. are on SNAP (food stamps), a program proposed to be cut.

  14. The role of white people is to disrupt racism.

  15. Change requires face-to-face relationships.

  16. Churches must be both spiritual and justice-making.

  17. If “that” (political issues of the day) can’t be discussed at your church, then it’s not a church.

  18. Do we love the people in our churches enough to disagree and to still come back together?

  19. $1.2 billion for a U.S. Naval military base in Gangjeong, an island off South Korea, is destroying the environment and coral reefs and the sacred areas and human rights of the indigenous people.

  20. The Tent of Nations in Palestine refuses to be enemies with those who repeatedly destroy their land.  They again and again re-plant their olive, apricot and almond trees.

When Marcus Frye, a senior at UW and member of the United Church of Christ in Laramie and I go to the offices of Sen. Enzi, Sen. Barrasso and Rep. Cheney tomorrow (Monday), we will ask for a moral budget – one that keeps the safety net programs and does not increase military spending and make tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the poor and vulnerable.

Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.



The Wyoming Association of Churches appreciates your many financial gifts for our justice work in Wyoming for the oppressed.  Click here.  Or mail your contribution to WAC, PO Box 1473, Laramie, WY 82073.

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