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RevGal Erin Counihan and Tegan served as protest marshals in St. Louis last summer after training for the Moral Monday action undertaken that day. #BlackLivesMatter.

Gifts Even While They Sleep

I lay down in peace 
and take my rest
for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid.

(from Night Prayer in A New Zealand Prayer Book, a paraphrase of Psalm 4: 8).

I am currently on vacation, and amidst the many joys (friends, shared meals, art galleries, road trips) one of the greatest pleasures is restful sleep.  Long and restful sleep.  I notice how it affects everything: I am more cheerful and energetic.  I am rested.

It is easy to squeeze sleep out of our lives.  Parents staying up late because it is the only time they get to themselves in the day.  Introverts who need some alone time after a day of extroverting.  Those of us who think we can just get more done if we are awake for more hours.

It is but lost labour we haste to rise up early, 
and so late take rest, and eat the bread of anxiety. 
For those beloved of God are given gifts even while they sleep.

(also from Night Prayer in ANZPB, a paraphrase of Psalm 127:2).

These words from Night Prayer are provoking me.  I wonder what it would be like to order my life to make plentiful sleep a possibility.  What would need to be given up, or taken on, to persist in sleeping enough?  But perhaps more importantly, what would it be like to trust in God’s gracious provision of sleep?  What would it be like to receive God’s gift of sleep?

who invites us saying,
“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden,
and I will give you rest”
By your Spirit give us the capacity to trust
in your provision of rest and sleep,
that we might serve you faithfully
with renewed energy and a cheerful heart.
In your name we pray, Amen.  


Jemma Allen is the Associate Priest at All Saints Anglican Church in Howick (Auckland, New Zealand) where she is responsible for ministry with children, young people and their families.  She formerly served as the Co-Pastor of the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing, China.  Her sanity strategies include knitting socks, loving dogs, Skyping friends and eating veggies. Jemma blogs at She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals board and is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).


Anti-racism resources

Dear RevGals and Pals,

After the shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, many U.S. RevGals used their Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds to express their grief and outrage. As I worked on this email late last night, the news broke about another police shooting and the death of Philando Castile in Minnesota. RevGals of Color asked White friends and colleagues to speak up if we hear racist "jokes" or remarks; to avoid the temptation to rush to forgiveness; and to do better -- to do something that extends beyond Facebook memes and emoticons.

To that end, here are a few links to books and articles I have found helpful; I hope you will, too. 

Advice for White Folks in the Wake of the Police Murder of a Black Person by Justin Cohen, shared by Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) on their Facebook page.

Lemonade Syllabus, a wondrous compilation of multi-disciplinary resources based around Beyonce's Lemonade, including contributions from some members of our web ring, and even more members of our Facebook group.

White Privilege - Let's Talk is a new curriculum coming from the United Church of Christ, featuring RevGal Traci Blackmon and recently previewed in a series of webinars now available as a set of free recordings from the Center for Progressive Renewal. The videos are archived here.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander - there is also a study guide: The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (a memoir)

A Challenge to White Allies by Monica Raye Simpson, in which she describes ways to dismantle White Supremacy.

Marchae Grair, who works in social media for the United Church of Christ, offers ten ways to actively reject your white privilege.

This is just a start. Do you have other resources that would be helpful to share next week? Please send them to me. And thanks.

Martha Spong 
RevGals Executive Director
Registration continues for Big Event 10, with presenter Casey FitzGerald. We have about a dozen spaces left, some singles and some doubles.
We will gather at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida. If you would love some time for galship, but not on an actual ship, this is your year!
Read more about the program and register at Eventbrite.
(Artwork courtesy of Shawna Bowman.)

RevGals around the web this week

We ask for your prayers for Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, whose professional move comes along with a breast cancer diagnosis: So, I have cancer, and I'm moving to London.

Traci Blackmon speaks some hard truths about centering the pain of the oppressed instead of making ourselves the story at New Sacred:  Can We Stand Together?

Denise Anderson challenges our definitions of inclusion: "You Can Come" vs. "You're Invited."

At The Painted Prayerbook, Jan Richardson shares a Blessing Coming Home to an Empty House

Bromleigh McCleneghan remembers Learning Hope from Elie Wiesel on the Christian Century's blog.

Amy Kumm-Hanson, who is a hospital chaplain, reflects On Standing in the Midst of Trauma.

And the sabbatical-ing Deborah Lewis contemplates hitting the wall, both literally and figuratively, in Adding the Flip Turn

"Before a grieving family can even bury their dead, we strip them of every shred of dignity and humanity to justify the unjustifiable. We perform cognitive leaps and feats of ignorance to explain away the racist brutality experienced by black and brown bodies. And we deploy death-dealing theology in a depraved attempt to use God's will to justify our inhumanity towards each other. Frankly, the racist depravity of this nation should cause us to tremble mightily before God." #AltonSterling‬

Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D.
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