Over the past couple of months, this country has watched as many Black men and women were killed right before our eyes. These events have made me reflect back on an article I wrote a couple of years ago called, “3 Things Church Taught Me About Race Relations” and its relevance to now.As a black woman having grown up in liturgical churches, I was familiar with being the only person of color every Sunday. I have been disappointed and hurt by the church’s lack of response to the racial injustices happening over the years. The ignoring of systemic racism in the church has made me feel invisible as people have overlooked my skin color in failed attempts to be colorblind. The church can not afford to be colorblind anymore though as we move forward. In the article, I discuss why even though it can be uncomfortable it’s so important to talk about race in church. Now more than ever it’s time to speak out because complacency isn’t our friend. Jesus called out the status quo again and again in ways that were controversial in that time. Just as controversial as it may be, to some people, to take to the streets and march today. As we look forward to what it truly means to be the body of Christ, I hope we can challenge each other and hold each other accountable when it comes to the sin of racism. I hope that the church can be a leading force in this fight and just like it says in Galatians 6:9, never grow tired of doing what is right. I hope we can be honest about our shortcomings and continue to proclaim until our voices give out that Black Lives Matter, Black Church-goers Matter, Black Clergy Matter, and Black Futures Matter.

Monique Hebert is a writer and mental health advocate living in the Seattle area. She self published a book of poetry about anxiety in 2018. She has written for The Mighty, Living Lutheran, Broadway World, and Introvert Dear. Her plays have had staged readings at the Seattle Playwrights Salon, Left Coast Theatre Company, and The Pocket Theatre. Her latest play, Mean Girl & Best Friend, is getting a virtual production in New York in November and you can learn more and get tickets here. Monique considers herself “Episcopal adjacent,” spending alternate Sundays between Episcopal and Lutheran churches. She attended the “Holy Waste of Time” retreat for young adults in 2019.