On Sunday, Pastor Margaret read an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” and I felt convicted as a “white moderate,” in whom Dr. King was deeply disappointed. He stated that “the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens “Councilor” or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice, who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action. . .” This is a real struggle for me, as I do like the familiar, the peaceful and the orderly ways of my personal and religious life. And yet I clearly see the critical need to live with some discomfort, so as help dismantle the structural racism that plagues our nation. I believe that New Garden is starting on an anti-racist path. My hope is that we can all encourage each other and share in doing this hard work as we walk forward.

–KHS ([email protected])