Local readers will be happy to know that the Rimbey United Church is starting up book club meetings in early September.
The first book that will be up for discussion is How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, said Pastor Marco Ste-Marie.
Ste-Marie said that he had the book in mind prior to the sweeping protests world-wide in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
“The book has become that much more relevant, and I’m sad that we have to wait three months to start with it as opposed to now,” he explained. “However, in three months it’s going to all be as relevant as it is today.”
Ste-Marie has been at the Rimbey United Church for the past year; prior to that he served at Lacombe’s St. Andrew’s Church for five years.
“First, I’m hoping that we will have some people that come with an open mind; being able to see things differently,” he said. “I hope they can say, ‘Here’s where I stand, but I’m open to changing my mind; I’m open to changing the angle from which I see these issues.
“I hope they come in saying, ‘You know, I want to see things outside of the box’. But the reality is that the people who will attend will already be open to the subject, and will already have some information,” he explained.
“What I also hope to do with this is to sow a seed. I hope it will sow a seed in me, and I hope it will sow seeds in the people attending,” he added.
“After that, those seeds will be watered and hopefully they will flourish.”
According to the author’s web site, “Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism re-energizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America – but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.
“Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.”
The book is described as an, “Electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science – including the story of his own awakening to antiracism – bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form.
“He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support.”
In the meantime, Ste-Marie noted that he has long had a passion for reading and sees it as something of a transformative experience.
“I love books because they get me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “They help me see things in ways that I didn’t see them before. I also think that a book can sow a seed in me – I would not be the person I am right now if I didn’t like reading as much as I do. And also, my line of work (requires) that I keep on learning. I love it! So that’s what I love about books in general.”
For more information, find Rimbey United Church on Facebook.