“We affirm that no identity or culture has more legitimacy than any other. We call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities.” (Para. 161A, The Nurturing Community, page 110, 2016 Book of Discipline)

We recognize racism as a sin and seek to eliminate it.

As followers of Christ, we embrace love and affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God and therefore work toward societies in which each person’s value is recognized, maintained, and strengthened. The following articles and resources are available to continue the conversation on the issue of racism along with tangible ways you can advocate for the fair treatment of all people.

Bishop Ough, President of the Council of Bishops, Issues Statement on Charlottesville

I pray that the shock, dismay and grief of Charlottesville will be a turning point for the U.S. and even our global United Methodist church. We share collective responsibility to turn our thin words into thick action. We share collective responsibility to break our silence. We share collective responsibility to restore health to the communities and relationship out of which extremism, hatred and racism grow. We share collective responsibility, as followers of the Prince of Peace, to create nonviolent communities where people with different political and religious views respect each other. We share responsibility to articulate the vision of the Beloved Community where no person feels endangered on account of their social, racial or cultural identity. 

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A Message from Bishop Trimble: Preaching Truth Still Matters 

We are flooded with news that stirs us to our core, and that makes us more fearful of our brothers and sisters which threaten the health of a world in desperate need of what I heard a preacher share more than twenty-five years ago. “The Church has something to offer the world that the world can get from no other place.” God reigns and the God we believe in is Love. We declare that Jesus Christ has and can make a way out of no way.

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Bishop Lewis of the Virginia Conference issues statement in response to Charlottesville events

Aug. 12, 2017--In conjunction with the disturbing events in Charlottesville, Va., Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, resident bishop of the Richmond Episcopal Area, issued the following statement: 

At a time when fear and hate are so readily in our faces, I would ask that you pray
with me. Pray for the loss of life and the injured. Pray for those acting from hate. Pray for calmer heads to surface. We, as The United Methodist Church, must witness to others what prayer can do in times of fear and hate. Charlottesville is a city hurting in many ways, so we pray for the restoration of calm, civil order for the community and its people today and in the days ahead. 

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United Methodist Communications calls us toEmbrace Love”

As your congregation gathers for worship this Sunday, congregants may be thinking and talking about the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Be prepared to offer words of comfort, share details about the denomination’s stance to affirm all persons as equally valuable, and help church members find resources that will empower them to address racial justice issues in your community.

The United Methodist Church is advertising nationally to encourage a unified stand against racism, challenging people to learn how we all can be a force for good. A compilation of articles and denominational statements is available at UMC.org/EmbraceLove. Resources from across the connection are also available, including liturgies, discussion guides, videos to use in worship and on social media, and tips for talking to kids.

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Religion and Race calls for all United Methodists to love in action

We call on all United Methodists, indeed all people of faith and good conscience, to join in the spirit of our common humanity to be people of power rooted in love and to put that love into action in every community, to stand as allies for justice, neither sentimental nor anemic but resolute in the knowledge that all people are created equal.

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United Methodist Women Condemns Hate and Violence in Charlottesville

We urge United Methodist Women and the entire church to speak out and resist fear, hate and scapegoating. This is our Christian witness. The Hebrew prophets declared God is "appalled" at the silence in the face of injustice (Isaiah 59:14-16). Speaking up, participating in responses with others, standing without fear, living out our faith as we insist on racial justice is an essential component of our identity as United Methodist Women and as United Methodist Christians.



 

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against racism?

United Methodists experience and observe racism regularly.

Sometimes it is overt, like the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 11-12, 2017, when Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others injured when a white supremacist intentionally struck them with his car.

Other times, it is more subtle. A nasty comment from a coworker or an assumption that crosses our mind and grieves our heart.

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From Talk About White Privilege to Action: Next Steps on the Anti-Racism Journey

Often times we have discussions about race and racism but fail to move from talking to action. This worksheet is designed to help you take the work you have already done with anti-racism – no matter where you are on the journey thus far – and work to put words into action. This action plan is best put together in small groups but can be done individually (see options). The main point is to move from talking about race and racism to living into an anti-racism or racial justice advocate stance. We all have the choice – every day – to decide on which side of racism we will stand. Silence is not an option; neither is standing by and hoping things will get better or “not touch us.” Racism impacts everyone in harmful ways. None of us is immune. We must decide. You, today, right now, are deciding. On which side do you stand?

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Affirm Diversity; Challenge Racism

This resource suggests 25 things your congregation can do to affirm diversity and challenge racism. 

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OPINION: Reflections on Charlottesville

"People in my grandparents’ and parents’ generation lived through the civil rights movement, and so their minds know of a time when people of color were treated differently due to their outward appearances. I know that prejudice and racism took a leading role in the minds and actions of many historical events. However, it’s still hard for me to personally identify with people who have treated others differently due to their skin color." 

Read more from Rev. Jim Moon