The United Methodist Church as a whole recognizes racism as a sin.
We commit to challenging unjust systems of power and access.
We will work for equal and equitable opportunities in employment and promotion, education and training; in voting, access to public accommodations, and housing; to credit, loans, venture capital, and insurance; to positions of leadership and power in all elements of our life together; and to full participation in the Church and society.
What can you do?
- Read White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Or watch her speak.
- Read the article 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Seek diverse blogs, podcasts, news outlets, and new relationships.
- Join Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in their work for civil and human rights.
- Connect with United Methodist Women in their work for racial justice.
- Show up when invited. Spend responsibly. Advocate.
- The Rev. F. Willis Johnson, a United Methodist Pastor in Ferguson, Missouri, offers helpful tips.
- The General Commission on Religion and Race offers several video series to encourage discussion.
- Discipleship Ministries offers some great resources.
- We also have some tips for talking to your children about racism.
- Turning to God in Days of Trouble is a prayer for difficult days.
- The Upper Room has great resources for doing the spiritual work of overcoming racism.
- NAACP, SLO County Chapter (on Facebook)
- R.A.C.E. Matters, SLO County Chapter (on Facebook)
- Local FB Groups Black Matter Collaborative & North County Protest/Support
A Letter from Pastor Steve Poteete-Marshall
As we witness the turmoil around us and the various responses in protest of the recent actions that resulted in the death of George Floyd, Ahumaud Arbery and others, I want to counsel us to act in ways that are responsible and are in accordance to COVID-19 safe practices guidelines.
I call us to rigorous self-examination and repentance for our actions that come from hate and prejudice, and not from treasuring each other as the blessed children of God. And although it might be tempting to go out and partake in demonstrations and marches, let me say that there alternate ways to make a difference for justice.
Second, let us give thanks for the wonderful diversity that is creation, it is wonderful to have persons who are from different cultures, speak different languages and who have different skin color than our own.
Thirdly, ask God for guidance so you will know how to act. The task may feel overwhelming, to change the world so no one lives in fear, but God only calls us to do one thing, the thing we can do, not all the things we cannot do.
From what I understand you can peacefully protest in ways that are even more effective than marching. Sending a donation to an organization that works with those who are poor and marginalized, writing letters in support or in opposition to what our elected officials are saying and doing, attending a meeting online with others who are organizing, sending support to our first responders who are often in the middle of the conflicts.
Each of us can find one way to make a difference as we love our neighbors. For me, I work with those living with HIV/AIDS, many who live on the margins, who are stigmatized and live in neighborhoods that are not always a safe haven for them. For me, this is how I share my love with others especially during times of crisis. I see the results of this work when I go to Strength for Journey camp each year, and as I exchange emails and texts with campers during the year.
There are plenty of ways we can make a difference in the lives of those who are victims of injustice, ways that can help turn the tide of racism and prejudice.