Unraveling Racism

Our faith in Christ, who showed nothing less than love and compassion for people on the margins, calls us to do likewise. Therefore, we must stand with our brothers and sisters of color against the perpetuation of systemic racism. The racism we see on display and the racial biases within each of us must be confronted, named, repented of and fought against. No one deserves to be mistreated, stripped of his/her dignity or oppressed. This is not a one-time battle and it is not just something other people exhibit.

So what can we do? How can we work to combat racism and eliminate the sin of white supremacy?

1. We must PRAY. Please join us in praying for all who have been directly affected by racially-motivated acts of violence. Let us also pray for perpetrators of racist acts, that they might be awakened to the inclusive love of God for all of humanity. Please pray for the safety of those who protest, law enforcement and others who are  on the streets of our cities and towns. Pray for marginalized persons and communities, that their voices may be recognized and heard; their stories respected and valued. And pray for the Holy Spirit to break through our lives, the life of the Church and the lives of individuals and communities around the globe, stirring us from complicity, apathy, or frustration toward the pursuit of justice, dismantling of hate and embodiment of love.

2. We need to look inward and do the work of introspection. Because we need to better understand our motives, actions and beliefs, we need to prayerfully examine our own biases and identify the prejudices deep within us. No one person owns the full blame for any racist act. Each of us has a responsibility to understand our role in the racist systems we allow, perpetuate and benefit from.

3. We must listen to the voices of people of color. In the days, weeks and months ahead, let us talk less and listen more. We need to hear one another into speech and trust the stories of our black brothers and sisters. But we must do more than listen.

4. We need to pursue relationships with people of color. Ask questions. Seek to learn the truths of others. We will never defeat racism if we aren’t intentional about developing honest and authentic relationships with people of differing races.

5. We must engage in action. Please consider donating to any or all of the following organizations (click on graphics to donate):

  • The Just Love appeal from The Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church allocates human and financial resources to assess and address crisis response, relief, recovery rebuilding, renewal, repentance and restitution, trauma therapy, and anti-racism. Just love addresses the food, Black home and business ownership, and health care deserts within our communities. Read Bishop Ough's letter of appeal.
  • or food shelves in South Minneapolis, as the needs for food assistance will be greater with so many stores burned or closed.
  • , who is working to rebuild the hardest-hit and most vulnerable small businesses on Lake Street—the majority of which are owned by immigrants and people of color.
  • , a fund started by New City Church (a United Methodist church plant in the South Minneapolis) to send money to verified, local organizations doing hands-on work on the frontline, (with a bias toward black-led organizations), microloans that support individuals in the New City facing economic hardship and New City Church, as they continue to expand anti-racism programming. 

6. We need to educate ourselves about race and racism. It's time to keep reading and keep learning. You may want to consider starting here:

7. We must continue the conversation. And so I hope you will join us for worship, life groups and service opportunities in the days and weeks ahead as we consider our role in bringing about God’s dreams for a just and equal humanity. 

Together, we will rise up. Together, we can make a difference.

 

 

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