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. Scroll down to explore these resources, and check back for updates.
GCORR is horrified and devastated by the recent shooting in Buffalo, NY. We grieve the victims of this senseless killing and stand in solidarity with the Black community of Buffalo and the United States.
All our church and community leaders must act to undo the work of racism that’s deeply rooted in our society. We must take responsibility for this ongoing work. Every anti-racist action and conversation is a step in the right direction. For those looking to act, we offer resources for faith communities and individuals working towards racial justice.
What does it mean to “de-colonize” the church? We invite you to join Path 1 on a journey to name and explore our own history of racism and what it means to be intentionally anti-racist as we start new ministries and faith communities in the UMC. The archived videos from this five-week event are now available for purchase.
Join Rudy Rasmus, writer and editor of "I'm Black. I'm Christian. I'm Methodist." in a robust discussion moderated by GCORR Interim General Secretary Garlinda Burton.
In the book, ten Black women and men explore life through the lens of compelling, personal accounts. They are leaders whose lives are tangible demonstrations of the power of a divine purpose and evidence of what grace really means in the face of hardship, disappointment, and determination.
A new anti-racism online course through GCORR is now available, focusing on defining, identifying, and practicing anti-racism. The “30 Days of Anti-racism” campaign has also begun, which offers ways to engage and an invitation to reflect and share on social media. Discipleship Ministries and Path 1 invite you to move deeper into discipleship through working to become more anti-racist in the ways that we think and behave so that the world is transformed.
God calls us to stand as witnesses to this dual pandemic. As laity we are 99.2% of the church and our voices matter. We cannot sit as observers to these events. We will not go back to normal. We cannot be silent. We are vital to the unfolding of God’s hope for us, to be people who hold one another and the communities around us, in love. Our acts of witnessing are not those of a spectator or to record history, but to take action and cause change.
I write this brief comment with every hope that George Floyd will not have died in vain. The violent and brutal act of his murder and that of so many others must not be forgotten and must by all moral and political force become the location for a societal current of change in police practice and a material commitment that Black lives matter. That human rights are crucial should go without saying, except for the fact that they are so often ignored and in so many systemic and structural ways, perhaps given voice, but substantively denied.
Providing pastoral leadership with children often requires finding ways to answer tough questions. It seems that 2020 has had many days where difficult questions have been asked. Parents and caregivers are asking how to talk to children about the racial divide in this country and the protests against the systemic evil of racism. We have a responsibility to children to listen and truly hear their questions and offer a Christian response that demonstrates repentance and provides hope.
“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.
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.