THE REPENTANCE PROJECT / AN AMERICAN LENT
On behalf of The Repentance Project Leadership Team, we are grateful for you and your courage in joining us on a journey to lament the legacies of slavery and, from this place of brokenness, to look with hope to a future where evil, death, and destruction are un-made.
Pilgrimage is a one-way ticket to a place we’ve not yet seen, but to which our deepest longings urge us. And, in a sense, the destination is actually the formative process all along the way. The risks of this 50-day pilgrimage (looking back to lament at the risk of great pain and looking forward at the risk of hope) mark a substantial and weighty endeavor.
On Ash Wednesday we boarded a train traveling back in time to experience our shared American history at a deeper level than commonly understood. Along the way we encountered challenging information and space to feel the magnitude of slavery’s legacy. Perhaps we caught a glimpse of our complicity or of benefit derived from an unjust system we inherited.
As we ease into the station at the end of the tracks and exit the passenger car, familiar sights and patterns may invoke a sense of disorientation as we learn to live with what we now know. We hope that the shared experiences of the past 50 days will lead us to engage relationships, daily life, and our world in a new way of being.
The brilliance and strength of Christ’s resurrection power is that it dwells in us to transform us and, therefore, to shape the world in a new way through us. Your life will inspire others to engage that same power for the good of all the various communities we call home.
Our great aspiration in The Repentance Project is “to foster healthy and vibrant interracial communities by clarifying the systemic legacies of slavery and creating opportunities for repentance, healing, and a just future.”
We hope that this brief study that we are calling An American Lent will prove to be a useful tool, an encouraging companion, and even a seasoned guide along the way, until the great social challenges of our age are re-shaped into communities where love, respect, and the good pleasure of a diverse and united family emerge in joyful colors among us.
Demetrius Summerville and Ted Haddock
February 10, 2017 / Orlando, Florida