Anti-Racism Resources for Our Churches
A Note from Council
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 Presbytery Council 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 out way to our Communications Director, Mark Sauls at: email@example.com
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
Anti-Prejudice Consortium - The Anti-Prejudice Consortium is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta - Every Monday at 9:30 AM, you are invited to share in one of the most insightful and informative community forums in Metropolitan Atlanta. The forums are held at the Vicars Community Center at 838 Cascade Road SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30310.
ERASE in Atlanta - During our meetings, we discuss articles and books that deal with racism. Meetings: 2nd and 4th Saturdays,11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Contacts: Beatrice Soublet, firstname.lastname@example.org; Larry Soublet, Email:email@example.com, Phone contact for both: 404-629-9654
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center - www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/yv-factsheet-a.pdf
An article from one of our own, Rev. Greg Allen-Pickett: pres-outlook.org/2016/07/reflections-train-racism-ally/
Publications from Presbyterian Peace Making
From our Confessional History
Belhar Confession…just approved by the 222nd General Assembly.
Race & Reconciliation: The Confessions of 1967 and Belhar, Workbook
From the “Being Reformed Series” www.thethoughtfulchristian.com/Products/680854/race--reconcilation-the-confessions-of-1967-and-belhar-workbook.aspx
From Presbyterian Women
One of the best PW resources I have found is Horizons Magazine. In the last year there have been 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.
More resources may also be found at:
At Synod, our member-at-large for Justice and Peace is Jill Bolander Cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Churchwide Vice Moderator for Justice and Peace is Wanda Beauman (Wbclerk5@gmail.com).
Issues Coordinator for PW of Greater Atlanta is Sheila Louder (email@example.com).
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