Welcome to the Marathon!

Last fall, Paul and Mariko Metzger began a serious discussion about race at Imago Dei Community in which we were asked: Are you a passive racist? The event drew more than 100 people and there was a strong desire in the room to learn more about what passive, invisible forms of racism might exist in our attitudes and practices at Imago Dei. In January, 12 Christ-followers were invited to meet with the Metzgers to continue this journey. I feel very lucky to have been a part of “the twelve.” We prayed, studied the bible, and shared personal stories of how race and racism has shaped our lives. Half of the group was white and half were minorities.

Dr Metzger loves to say “this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.” As Americans, we love to solve problems ASAP. But realistically, prejudice is as old as race itself, and it’s epidemic, yet it’s invisible to the perpetrators (I don’t know many people who claim they’re a racist, do you?). Let’s not declare the “mission accomplished.” Both systemic change and discipleship take time. People from the dominant culture need to take the time to listen, examine their attitudes and habits, listen to the Word, and retrain themselves; their brothers and sisters of color need to participate in this journey with them.

We have been so “stoked” about this journey that we decided to invite others to join. Because it’s a marathon, we’re pacing ourselves and preparing for the long haul. This spring we expanded this discussion into class offered through Imago Dei’s School of Theology. You can view the class syllabus below. If you would like to write your own story, we would welcome that as well. Send it as a comment, up to 1500 words, and I can post it for others to see.


One Response to “Welcome to the Marathon!”

  1. David Swanson Says:

    First, thanks for the effort going into this blog. I think this is a very helpful forum for those of us who read and were challenged by Consuming Jesus.

    Second, as a white pastor on staff at a multi-ethnic church I appreciate this post about passive and invisible forms of racism. It can be difficult for those of us in the majority culture to listen with humility as our family from minority cultures explain what this type of racism looks like. Perhaps even more challenging is providing safe places where folks can feel safe describing their experiences of racism to those of us who have often not been interested in knowing about these realities. It sounds like the “School of Theology” is a great means to provide that type of safe space. Our church is currently going through a sermon series and small group curriculum called “Race Matters” which is part of our ongoing attempt to deal directly with the complexities of race and racism.

    Keep up the great work!


Leave a Reply