January 2016 Dismantling Racism

The first semester of school flew by. After I got home from my intensive I had many projects to work on for the four classes I was taking. While the class portion of the intensive was over, I still had essays to write for it.

As Christmas break approached, I realized that I would not have very much of a rest because the January intensive was looming. There is a fall, January, and summer intensive offered on campus that lets DL students rack up those much needed 10 campus credits. To get the coursework done for the January intensives, we have to start reading and doing writing almost as soon as our fall classes are over.

Soon, I was packing up all of my stuff again and saying goodbye to the warmer climate of my home in the MidWest. My preparation for this trip included buying the first winter coat I had owned in four years. I had been getting by with layers, but the intense cold of Minnesota wouldn’t allow for that!


I also brought a practice pad, sheet music, and drumsticks. Just a few days prior to my trip I had started drum lessons, and I wanted to keep up.


The drive up was uneventful, and I arrived at campus. Indeed, it was cold, but I actually love winter weather. Unlike some other places I have lived, St. Paul kept the streets plowed clean and salted, so getting around wasn’t difficult. I was blessed by another student in the class who offered to drive us to the class location.

For January I had signed up for the class Dismantling Racism. We were hosted by a local Lutheran congregation, and the class was run like a workshop.

The first evening we met in one of the campus chapels and sang hymns that are popular in African-American churches. This experience kept our class centered in the holy and focused on God.

Over the next few days we met at the local congregation and worshipped with them on Sunday morning.


Our class tackled the issue of racism in America and in the church. We looked at our own experiences, watched moving documentaries, and had intense conversations. As we left, we each were changed in some way. I returned home with ideas for my final project and felt invigorated.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

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