Regardless of our titles and roles, anti-racism work is the job of every employee of the Sierra Pacific Synod. Today, I want to share one example of how we are seeking to decrease bias in the signs, symbols, staffing, policies, practices and gatherings of the Synod.
As we downsize from three offices, to one Millbrae office in a congregation, we have done a lot of packing and getting ready to digitize 100 boxes of documents. As we prepare these files, I have been reflecting on the signs and the symbols that have been a part of our Synod's history.
The most troubling to me is our former logo. As a parent of black children, I have taught my children to run and seek safety if they ever see a cross that is on fire. I have taught them the history of how Christianity has been used to harm and oppress others, especially those who are black.
I imagine our previous Synod logo was designed to remind us of the spirit of Pentecost that inspires us to preach and teach in the languages of the world. But all I see when I look at it, is a cross on fire. For those who have been hurt by this imagery, I apologize.
I believe in naming the mistakes of our past so we can do better. I was given a cope with this image embordered on it that I will be putting in our public archive with a copy of this blog to remind future generations that change is possible and continuously needed. Our Synod is committed to being ever re-forming, that works requires continues action, reflection and when needed an apology.
I am sorry. I ask forgiveness on behalf of the Synod.