Lent 2023
Becoming Church: Respecting the Dignity of Every Human Being


“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” (BCP, p 305). Dignity is one of those words used a lot in reference to morality, ethics, religion, politics, science, and justice. And yet, dignity is rarely defined in any legal, scientific, political, or international discussions. The definitions for dignity vary widely: the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake and to be treated ethically; the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect; a sense of pride in oneself; and a composed or serious manner or style. During Lent, we will explore “dignity” from many different points of view.

Our Sunday morning speaker series will host some incredibly interesting voices. The Rev. Canon Katie Bradshaw will kick off the series on the first Sunday of Lent with an introduction to dignity. Von Gordon, Executive Director of the Alluvial Collective (formerly the William Winter Institute), will be with us on March 5 to talk about the Collective’s work to end inequity throughout the state. On March 12, Rabbi Joseph Rosen, of the Beth-Israel Congregation, will lead a discussion entitled “The Jewish Story: The American Jewish Experience and Understanding Diversity.” Emily Jones, the Archivist at Delta State University, will be here on March 19 to talk about the history of the Chinese in the Mississippi Delta and her work with the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum. Finally, on Sunday, March 26, Dr. Tammy Greer, Director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies (CAIRS) at the University of Southern Mississippi, will talk about her research in the context of Mississippi. Each week, our Epistle email newsletter will provide more biographical information about the week’s speaker, along with an article about his or her topic. These speakers bring a wide variety of wisdom and perspective on respecting the dignity of the other, and you will not want to miss this series.

Our Lenten book this year will be Crow Lake, written by Mary Lawson. Crow Lake is a work of fiction set in northern Ontario. The book explores the themes of death and resurrection, communal living, educational and socio-economic privilege, unresolved loss, creation care, family love, misunderstandings, resentments, and dignity. It is a book which can be read through many lenses, and it will certainly keep you thinking after the last page. Please look for group sign-ups in the days ahead.

On Saturday, March 4, we will host a special Lenten retreat with Jemar Tisby, the best-selling author of The Color of Compromise and How to Fight Racism, both of which address the intersection of race and the church. Dr. Tisby is a professor of History at Simmons College of Kentucky, and founder of The Witness, Inc. He is a co-host of the Pass the Mic podcast, and his writing has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. Dr. Tisby is not new to Mississippi. He studied at the University of Mississippi in Oxford and the Reformed Theological Seminary here in Jackson, taught with Teach for America in the Delta, and served as a principal at Midtown Public Charter School in Jackson. The Lenten retreat will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and will be open to the wider community. You can sign-up at standrews.ms/lentenretreat. In conjunction with this retreat, Kathy Woodliff and Avery Rollins have agreed to host a Lenten book study on The Color of Compromise during the Lenten season. For more information and to sign-up, contact kbradshaw@standrews.ms.

Lenten Retreat 2023


Sunday Morning Speaker Series