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We invite you to join St. Mary as we read James Cone’s exploration of racial justice and the Christian life, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.

As the events of the past year have made painfully clear, people of color continue to face unjust racial discrimination in our communities. In the streets and on social media, prophetic voices bore witness to a call for liberation from the evils of white supremacy. For many this past year came with a difficult revelation—that racism continues to infect our church, our neighborhoods, and our hearts. Yet naming this reality is only a starting point. As Christians, we recognize Jesus’s continual call to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

As Cone writes in the introduction to the book, “Until we can see the cross and the lynching tree together, until we can identify Christ with a ‘recrucified’ black body hanging from a lynching tree, there can be no genuine understanding of Christian identity in America, and no deliverance from the brutal legacy of slavery and white supremacy.” Cone’s testimony invites us into the difficult and necessary work of reconciliation, asking us with the voice of the prophet Joel to rend our hearts.

We hope that this digital space will offer further opportunity for reflection and engagement. On this blog we will be posting weekly reflections from students and resident parishioners, offered in both English and Spanish, as well as resources for further study on antiracism and the Christian life.

Books are still available in the office and can be picked up during normal office hours. To cover the cost of the book, which we purchased through Black Stone Books in Ypsilanti, we are requesting a donation of $27. Please only give what you can; do not let the cost of the book keep you from participating. If you are unable to come in to the office but would like to participate and live in the Ann Arbor area, please email ncortas@smspnewman.org to request a copy to be dropped off at your house.

If you would like to offer a reflection to be posted to the blog, please email ncortas@smsp.org for more information and to sign up.

To sign up for weekly email updates throughout Lent with links to reflections and resources for further exploration, click here.