Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | August 25, 2017

If not now, when? If not us, who?



This past Sunday, August 20, our Executive Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Ellen Clark-King, preached a fantastic sermon about racism and antisemitism, today and at the dawn of Christianity.

“Let’s be quite clear – racism in America is not a black problem and antisemitism is not a Jewish problem – they are a white problem. Yes, other races can be racist too, but they don’t share the privilege and power that belong to white America. And let’s also be quite clear – racism and antisemitism are not just a southern problem, they may be more muted and hidden but they are here in liberal old San Francisco too.

One thing that gives me hope is knowing that Jesus walked this same path before us. It may seem shocking at first to hear him being so dismissive of the Canaanite woman and her daughter. But this story helps turn my shame at my own prejudices into resolve to follow Jesus into open-hearted inclusivity. It reminds me that the Spirit of God is always at work, in every human life, even in the holiest of human lives, even in the ugliest of human lives, at work tugging us towards love and peace and away from bigotry and violence.

Dear Grace Cathedral, dear Church of God, it is beyond time that we step up to address all that defiles us and our society. It is beyond time that we renounce all ideas of superseding Judaism and instead embrace those who hold to God’s first unbreakable covenant. It is beyond time that we follow Jesus in seeing all the ways that our love may be limited and let God’s Spirit break open our hearts to make room for all people. It is beyond time that those of us who are white members of the Church accept the responsibility for change that comes with the privilege of colour.”

Read or hear the full sermon.

Join us for our Interfaith Gathering for Peace on Saturday, August 26 to hear more inspiring words from people who have worked for peace and justice.

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