CHURCH & RACE
What does The United Methodist Church say about racism?
Racism has long been described as America’s “original sin.”
The 2020 killings of three African Americans — George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who died at the hands of police, and Ahmaud Arbery, chased and shot to death by two individuals — sparked a national outcry against white supremacy and institutional racism, a protest that has now spread globally.
How is the UMC responding?
United Methodist Church leaders and members have joined those voices. The denomination’s Council of Bishops called for every United Methodist “to name the egregious sin of racism and white supremacy and join together to take a stand against the oppression and injustice that is killing persons of color.”
Other voices from across the denomination, from individual bishops and general agencies to students at Africa University in Zimbabwe, have also responded and issued statements.
The United Methodist Church has mounted a denomination-wide campaign, "United Against Racism," that urges its members not only to pray, but to educate themselves and have conversations about the subject, and to work actively for civil and human rights.
United Methodists Stand Against Racism
We recognize 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?
We listen for the voice of Jesus in our private acts of devotion and our public acts of worship.
The Upper Room has collected resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.
Prayers for the Healing of a Nation - Discipleship Ministries
No justice. No peace: Devotion written in response to George Floyd’s murder
Turning to God in Days of Trouble is a prayer for difficult days.
We begin our work by joining hands and hearts to journey side by side.
Read White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Or watch her speak. Other titles at Cokesbury.com.
A United Methodist Pastor in Ferguson, Missouri, offers helpful tips for talking about race.
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.
Seek diverse blogs, podcasts, news outlets, and new relationships.
We seek to be present at the rally, to the pain of others, and for opportunities to use our voices for change.
Saturday, June 13: National Day of Prayer for United Methodist Men, 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT
Wednesday, June 24, Denominational Worship Service,12 noon CDT
Wednesday, July 1, Denominational Town Hall,12 noon CDT
Jesus calls us not only to speak, but to join in the work of liberating the oppressed.
Join Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in their work for civil and human rights.
For information on joining the First United Methodist Church's justice team, contact Cynthia Breunlin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with United Methodist Women in their work for racial justice.
Suggested Resources for Becoming Anti-Racist: Discipleship Ministries
Give to The United Methodist Committee on Relief's Community Developers Program.
Work for justice in your church, community, work and school.
Find more information and resources on our Racial Justice page.