Hurricane Maria revealed not only colonialism in Puerto Rico, as Alexandra Rosado-Román described in “What Hurricane María Revealed” (May 2018), but the racist neglect of an isolated black population in the U.S. Virgin Islands, likewise impacted but rarely mentioned in the media. Like the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, conditions were worse for that group of U.S. citizens than for Puerto Ricans or mainland Americans even before the storm. Let us also help them in their recovery.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Worship and Education
I am currently using the excellent “Reclaiming Jesus” statement mentioned in “Which Jesus Do We Serve?” (Jim Wallis, June 2018) in worship. We are a small church, so worship and education go hand in hand. Prior to using the Reclaiming Jesus confession, we explored the Theological Declaration of Barmen. Each Sunday, we share a section of “We Believe” and “Therefore We Reject.” We have additional information about both statements in the bulletin and in our weekly email newsletter, with a link to the entire statement and the background information on why it was written. Thank you!
“Reclaiming Jesus” is a good statement (“Which Jesus Do We Serve?”) with one omission: the affirmation of other spiritual paths—of our community and common bonds with Muslims, Jews, and others—and a rejection of Christian exclusivism that demonizes and delegitimizes non-Christian religions. This exclusivism is being affirmed in practice by the White House. With that caveat, as a former staff member of the National Council of Churches, I am very glad that you are promoting this.
While my 16-year-old school students explained the concept of the Trinity to our “Studies of Religion” class, I felt thankful that we live in more tolerant days than that of the Council of Chalcedon of the fifth century, lest we all be tried for heresy. I then read Wil Gafney’s reflection for Trinity Sunday (“Rumors of Life,” May 2018). She expressed so well what I really wanted my students to learn: how to name God rather than number God, to know God rather than explain God. Thank you, Wil Gafney, for such a brief, but wonderful, reflection.
Windermere Park, New South Wales, Australia
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