Retreat. Release. Reintegrate. Invite.
2020. What a year it has been so far, and we are only halfway through the year.
In the midst of a global pandemic, having to adapt to a lifestyle of physical distancing, working from home and worshiping online, life continues in all its beauty and short comings. As COVID19 hit, other issues people face every day have not slowed down, adding an extra spice to life that we could all do without.
People have had to evaluate the risks and rewards of continuing to fight the good fight during the pandemic for Black & Blak Indigenous Lives Matter, Climate Action, Voices of our Emerging Gens, Gender Equality, LGBT rights, Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, and many more. Many people experience a variety of these issues throughout their lives, not just one or the other, living life through a complex web of injustices, big and small.
It can get tiring. It does get tiring. Even with all the good in the world that we live in today, even with our faith in that God is with us through this all, it is important to know when things are weighing too much and you need a breather.
I happened upon an article from the Fuller Youth Institute that I felt was relevant to share. As a leader of colour confronted daily by many issues listed previously, this article resonated with me and in a way allowed me to properly process where I am currently. I am a young leader of colour. I serving in many spaces that are majority white spaces. Just like life it comes with its beauty and blessings but also with its struggles and challenges, and I know that many other young leaders of colour have similar experiences. There is a much larger conversation that needs to be had, openly and honestly, with love and Christ at the centre, within the church, but for now, I recommend this article to all, especially to Young Leaders of Colour in the church. It is a great read and the handout is helpful in taking healing steps to retreat, release, reintegrate and invite. Take into consideration safe distance practices when going through the steps from the handout.
4 healing steps for leaders of colour serving in white spaces
Ofa Foiakau is the Field Officer (Central/West), and responsible for youth/high school ministry as a part of the PULSE team.