Posted July 8, 2020

By Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

 LOUISVILLE — In the latest episode of “Everyday God-Talk,” a trio of diverse church leaders shares how living with the twin pandemics of the coronavirus and racism is affecting them and their respective communities.

Listen below to the first of a three-part conversation between host So Jung Kim and her guests – the Revs. Ashley DeTar Birt and Alexandra Zareth. In this segment, they discuss whether to use “protest” or “uprising” to describe the Black Lives Matter movement. In the second part, to be released July 15, the trio talks about the power of naming and how America’s racism and Black Lives Matter movement impact them, their families and friends.

Because language matters, Zareth, who is also a trained therapist, believes conversations like these, where people can practice calming down by asking “What do they mean?” and acknowledging that “maybe I heard it differently,” are valuable. But she’s not sure people are creating and honoring spaces to do that very well right now because of the stress they’re under from both the coronavirus pandemic and racism.

“When our bodies become tense, it becomes very unclear,” Zareth said. “We can’t listen very well, and we can’t think very well.”