Anti-Racism Resources for our Churches
A Note from Coordinating Team
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ:
We live in a broken and wounded world. Recent events, especially the bloodshed in Baton Rouge, Falcon Ridge and Dallas, have brought all of us to a greater awareness of the deep divisions in our society. As Christians, we wrestle with how to respond to the fear and anger that threaten the unity that God wills for all God’s creation/children. Scripture reminds us that, “perfect love casts out fear.” In the midst of hatred instigated by fear, let us remember that Jesus calls us to respond with love.
As we try to be more faithful followers of Jesus during these troubled times, your Coordinating Team wants to support congregations in seeking specific ways to do justice, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. Many of you are already involved in responses through worship, study and action, and we hope you will share with the Presbytery what you are doing.
We encourage all churches to reach out to others in your community – neighboring communities of faith, community organizations, police precincts – to initiate conversations that will promote greater understanding and reconciliation. Below is a list of resources that may be helpful as you plan ways to be actively involved in working within your congregation and with other groups to bring about change.
We know this is only touches on the many things available. If you know of others that will be helpful to the presbytery, please send our way to our Communications Committee, Lisa Mallory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your church is having any kind of worship service, prayer vigil, or study that the presbytery may be invited to, please let us know and we will get the word out.
In all the chaos and confusion of life, we hold fast to the promise that God is at work to bring about the promised day when “justice will roll down like waters.” As Christians and as a Presbytery, may we strive, in the words of Ephesians 4, “to live with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Resources from the Presbyterian Mission Agency:
This link will bring you to resources from the Office of Gender and Racial Justice website.
Ferguson Conversation Guide - A resource for hosting a conversation that can be adapted and used as a model. This particular one was staff-wide conversation on the Ferguson incident.
Sera Chung is the Associate of the Office of Gender and Racial Justice. Sera.Chung@pcusa.org
Publications from Presbyterian Peace Making
From our Confessional History
Belhar Confession… approved by the 222nd General Assembly.
Race & Reconciliation: The Confessions of 1967 and Belhar, Workbook from the “Being Reformed Series”
From Presbyterian Women
The Horizons Magazine has included themed issues on "Mission and Racism," "A Faithful Response to Violence," and most recently, "Communications Justice: The Right to Speak and Be Heard". The website is www.pcusa.org/horizons. Each issue has additional resources on each theme.
The Presbyterian Women's statement condemning racially-motivated violence "Charlottesville, Virginia."
More resources may also be found at:
Alexander, Michelle The New Jim Crow
Bell, Derrick Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism
Blackmon, Douglas Slavery by Another Name
Coates, Ta-Nehisi Between the World and Me
Hart, Drew G.I. Trouble I've Seen: Changing The Way The Church Views Racism
Cleophus J. LaRue Rethinking Celebration
Maxwell, David Race in a Post-Obama America: The Church Responds
Moss, Otis, III Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World
Painter, Nell The History of White People
Powery, Emerson B. The Genesis of Liberation
Nibs Stroupe and Caroline Leach O Lord, Hold Our Hands: How a Church Thrives in a Multicultural World
Takaki, Ronald A Different Mirror: A Multicultural History of America
Wilmore, Gayraud Black and Presbyterian
A DVD "Race: The Power of an Illusion" by California Newsreel and PBS