Why should our congregation seek to eliminate the sin of racism?

Racism is a sin against God because it devalues, dehumanizes and oppresses someone God created. Racism is a sin because it sets one group as God to judge other cultures and races. Eliminating racism is not easy because prejudice and biases are woven into the culture and systems in our society. But all are called to end the sin of racism.

What are the three aspects to ending the sin of racism?

There are three aspects that are critical to ending the sin of racism within ourselves, our church, our community and society – Aspire/Affiliate, Comprehend, Transform (ACT)  Developing an ACTion plan is essential congregations to work toward ending the sin of racism.

  1. Aspire/Affiliate – Aspiring to be and do better and Affiliation, deeper and better relationships with people of other cultures and races are essential.
  2. Comprehend – Comprehend, learn and understand, the history of racism, what is racism, how and why laws, systems and values were developed to perpetuate racism, and how to live and work to end racism.
  3. Transform – Transforming individuals, congregations, communities and systems to end prejudice, bias, oppression and systems that perpetuate racism. Transformation is changing from the inside out.

How can our congregation receive help to end the sin of racism?

A member of the superintending team assigned to your congregation and/or a trained facilitator can assist you your congregation to develop an ACT plan. Contact your regional administrator to have someone assigned to assist your congregation.

What are ACT activities a congregation can use to develop deeper relationships with people of other races, learn more about racism and work to transform lives and systems?

Affiliate – activities to develop and deepen relationships with people of races and cultures different from the congregation. For White people it is essential to get to know more people of color.

  • Have pulpit and/or choir/music exchanges several times during the year.
  • Hold seasonal worship together during Lent, Thanksgiving and Advent.
  • Work on a joint mission project together with co-planning and co-leadership.
  • Have a meal together, particularly with foods from other cultures.
  • Hold a game night together.
  • Have a joint Bible study together with the leadership by a person of color.
  • White people can call a friend of another race or culture and not only get to know the person better, but ask how they are in the midst of heightened prejudice and racism and what you can do to support others.
  • Talk with your children and grandchildren about race. Google how to talk with children about race and racism.

Comprehend – engage in learning experiences to broaden and deepen understanding of racism, bias, privilege, systemic racism and trauma caused by racism.

  • Organize a book study about race. The following are books you might consider.
    • How to Be An Anti Racist – Ibram X. Kendi
    • White Fragility – Robin DeAngelo
    • Biased – Jennifer Eberhardt
    • Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
    • Across that Bridge – John Lewis
  • Watch a movie together and discuss the movie.
    • Selma
    • Do the Right Thing
    • The Hate You Give
    • 12 Years a Slave
    • Just Mercy

Transform – change conditions, systems, your congregation and your community to end racism.

  • If your workplace is not diverse, ask your employer about hiring people of other races and cultures.
  • Study housing patterns in your community. If it is not integrated research why and ask community officials what they are doing to encourage more diversity in the community.
  • Examine the schools in your community. If they are segregated, get involved in integrating schools in your community.

We have superintending team members and trained facilitators that are ready to support your congregation with completing the following plan to work toward ending the sin of racism and activities your congregation can engage in.