A Statement to the churches and people of the Central Texas Conference

From the Central Texas Conference Inclusiveness Umbrella Team

 

The senseless death of George Floyd was horrific and highlights in everyone’s consciousness that racism is not a thing of the past. His death, and the consequent protests speak to the unfortunate truth that the sin of racism is still a very present and active reality in our society. It is unfortunate (unfathomable even) when we sometimes see it manifest in bigotry and hatred on an individual level. However, even more tragically, we must recognize and acknowledge that it still operates on a systemic and institutional level in our world today.

 

The Central Texas Conference joins Bishop Mike Lowry and United Methodists all over the world in condemning both the action and the system that led to George Floyd’s death. We too acknowledge that Mr. Floyd’s death is only one in a long line of tragic deaths made possible by systems infected with racism.

 

The level of rightful outrage over this incident has not been seen in our country since the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. Now, as then, many people want to see things change. Although some changes came about as a result of the civil rights movement, and additional progress has been made since, George Floyd’s death reminds us that more change must come. The Inclusiveness Umbrella Team is committed to be part of that change and invites/urges our faith community to join us in that effort.

 

While the scope of the problem of racism is so grand that it overwhelms us, there are things we can do. We offer the following few suggestions in the spirit of humility, understanding fully that if God does not help us with this, we are lost. However, we are confident and grateful that God will help in this endeavor, so we move forward with enthusiasm and hope!

 

May God bless, keep, guide and direct you this day and every day,

The Central Texas Conference Inclusiveness Umbrella Team

 


 

 

Be a part of the connection-wide observance Dismantling Racism: A Service of Lament, at Noon, this Wednesday. United Methodists from around the world will gather to lament for the racism in our midst, reflect on Psalm 22, have a time of communion and hear God’s call to join in the work of dismantling racism and pressing on to freedom for all. Visit UMC.org/EndRacism to participate and/or learn more. + Add to Your Calendar

 

United Methodists from around the world will gather to lament for the racism in our midst. We will also reflect on Psalm 22, have a time of communion and hear God’s call to join in the work of dismantling racism and pressing on to freedom for all.

Together, we must pray, connect, show up and act.
 

“Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” is a multi-level initiative throughout the church to implement a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice.

 

 

Learn More

 

 


Things to do to become more aware of racism

  • Ask God to open your mind and heart to a fuller understanding of this issue.
  • Read the United Methodist Position on racism (Social Principle Paragraph 162A).
  • Take a course on Implicit Bias (available at www.gcorr.org).
  • Take an assessment like the Intercultural Development Inventory (https://idiinventory.com/).
  • Engage in group book studies. (See resource list below for a few examples.)

 

Suggested Action Steps

  • Create a code of ethics for your congregation.
  • Establish an Anti-Racism Task Force in your Local Congregation

  • Preach against Racism

  • Become involved and engaged in your local community.
  • Make a new friend whose skin color differs from yours.
  • Seek out and embrace opportunities for honest and thoughtful conversations about racism.
  • Speak out when you witness racism or injustice.
  • Listen and offer empathy/compassion to persons who are hurting as a result of racism.
  • Vote for people who will prioritize justice and equity for all.
  • Engage in intentional cross-cultural worship.

 

Resources

 

Be the Bridge

Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation, by Latasha Morrison

I'm Still Here

Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing-Brown

How to Be Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi 

 

More Resources Below! 

The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, by Michelle Alexander

White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo

No Justice, No Mercy, by Rev. Brooks Harrington

So You Want To Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo

General Commission on Religion and Race (official UMC website)

16 Bridge Building Tips for White People (PDF)

Up From Slavery (7 part documentary)

Living Room Conversations