Resources for Responding to Systemic Racism
Discipleship Ministries has collected these resources to help churches address the topics of racism, systemic oppression, violence, and more.
Check back for updates to this page.
“Two Sundays after the murder of George Floyd. Again, no mention of BLM, George, Ahmaud, or race from our pulpit,” she said. “I’m heartbroken. If the Christian faith has nothing to say at a time like this, makes me wonder if it’s got anything to say about anything.”
That was what an active United Methodist layperson said to me last week. If we white preachers sit on the sidelines during the current national debate over white supremacist systems of violence against people of color, if we allow our congregations to miss out on the saving dimensions of Christ’s work, we are in danger of impugning and sidelining the gospel of Jesus Christ.
United Methodists around the world gathered online to pray and lament for the racism in our midst. Hear God's call to join in the work of dismantling racism and pressing on to freedom for all.
In this Kairos moment of protest and awakening, Discipleship Ministries and other agencies and bodies of the United Methodist Church are providing resources and guidance on how to become anti-racist individuals and churches. Please seek out the help you need in this time of transformation. The Worship Team of Discipleship Ministries believes, however, that such a change will not happen unless the whole process is bathed in prayer every step along the way. To that end, we will be providing daily prayers to help keep us all centered on the journey ahead.
Our nation is grieving. We are lamenting the violent actions of authorities, racism, and systemic oppression that has been on display in recent weeks. Meanwhile, most of us have not gathered in our church buildings for nearly three months during the global pandemic. As we make plans to regather for in-person worship, this virtual conference is designed to prepare your congregation to navigate these challenges.
By Junius B. Dotson
My friend’s note had a veneer of concern. “Just checking to see (if) you and family are safe.” the text began.
It then took a curious but familiar turn: “We can disagree and voice our concerns. We can perceive things differently and still be kind, respectful and polite. Violence and destruction just incite more violence and destruction. And eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth only benefits Visine and Crest.”
Music is our heart language. It expresses what we feel and think and gives voice to our troubled hearts. When we sing in community, virtually, or in-person, we offer music that can become a healing agent in the process of moving toward transformation. Included here are hymns and songs for your personal and/or corporate time of prayer and devotion. Some of these pieces provide a moment to sit in brokenness and lament; while others supplement this time with an anticipative view of God’s inbreaking kingdom and kin-dom.
Some come from large churches; some come from small ones. Some come from white preachers; some from preachers of color. Some might seem bold, and others somewhat timid. But all chose to speak about the virus of racism that has sickened our society for far too long. It is time to speak. Listen to these preachers and take heart for the movement of the Spirit in The United Methodist Church. Listen and be encouraged to speak a hard truth.
How can churches help their members be explicitly engaged in ministry that works against the spiritual forces of racism? How can we help our people see that being disciples of Jesus Christ in this place and time calls us to be actively working to dismantle racism? How does the way we use our money, as individuals and as churches, testify to our desire to be anti-racists? Here are five ideas that might get you started thinking creatively in that direction.
These churches and organizations offers examples to help guide you and your congregation on the journey to anti-racism.
The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” speak to this moment yet again: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” It is enough. We offer these words, written by, R. DeAndre Johnson, and given permission to post as a way of speaking to our pain and the nation’s rage.