STATEMENT: Racism, The United Methodist Church, and Progressive MovementsThursday, May 19th, 2016 10:58 am
Inspired by the honesty regarding our egregious participation in the Sand Creek Massacre and the words of Wednesday afternoon’s speaker Gary L. Roberts who said, “Evil acts are not confined to the wicked,” the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) acknowledges racism is present within our denomination and the progressive movement.
Throughout General Conference 2016, we have witnessed many incidents of personal and institutional racism. As United Methodists, we believe “racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and institutional racism (¶162.A)” In our denomination we experience this as white privilege including unconscious bias, colonialism, and xenophobia.
As we committed in our baptismal vows, we “accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”
MFSA calls upon ourselves and our progressive partners, along with local churches, annual conferences,and all denominational bodies, to confess and condemn the sins of systemic and personal racism, and to engage in the hard work of repentance and reconciliation. To assist in this, we recommend the resources and work of the General Commission on Religion and Race.
As an organization, MFSA will continue to educate our board and member leadership in anti-racism, bias,and white privilege. We seek to increase racial diversity among decision-makers and prioritize anti-racism in our programs and ministry. In doing so, we hope to embody the beloved community to which Christ calls us.
Since 1907, the Methodist Federation for Social Action has worked to mobilize, lead, and sustain a progressive movement, energizing people to be agents of God’s justice, peace, and reconciliation. As an independent, faith-based organization, MFSA leads both church and society on issues of peace, poverty, people’s rights, progressive issues, and justice in The United Methodist Church. For more information visit www.mfsaweb.org