Discipleship Ministries, together with other boards and agencies, affirms our commitment to dismantling racism across the denomination and within our communities. We lift up this article by Rev. Bener Agtarap highlighting resources from across the agencies and the statement from the Asian American Language Ministry Plan (AALMP) and the New Federation of Asian American United Methodists condemning hatred and violence toward Asians and Asian Americans in the United States. We invite you to have courageous conversations with your ministry leaders and local church disciples to affirm explicitly anti-racist discipleship reflecting who we are as followers of Jesus.
- Jeff Campbell, Acting General Secretary, Discipleship Ministries
We invite you to join the Asian American Language Ministry Plan (AALMP) and the New Federation of Asian American United Methodists in condemning hatred and violence toward Asians and Asian Americans in the United States by endorsing this statement with your signature.
Rev. John Oda, who directs the Asian American Language Ministry Plan said, “This is not just an Asian American concern. It is not an African American concern, a Hispanic/Latino concern, a Native American concern, or a Pacific Islander concern. This increase in violence is a concern for ALL Christians; for anyone who wants to live out the tenets of the gospel of Jesus Christ and who wants to fulfil his commandment to love one another. The United Methodist Church has a moral obligation to be vocally and visibly outraged at this precipitous rise in violence and hatred against the Asian American community.”
Our support for this effort clearly shows our commitment as disciples of Jesus Christ in dismantling systemic racism, both within the church and society. As United Methodists, we “accept the freedom and power God gives [us] to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves” as integral parts of our Christian baptism and life of discipleship.
As we listen and learn from our leaders in local churches and annual conferences, Discipleship Ministries and others offer these antiracism resources:
- De-Colonizing the Church: A Commitment to Anti-Racism - This webinar series discusses how racism is embedded in our church systems and structures and notes how those need to be challenged and dismantled. Click here to learn more.
- Courageous Conversations - These are structured conversations that local church leaders can use to inspire and encourage the church and individuals. Courageous Conversations address controversial issues such as race and human sexuality. Click here to learn more.
- Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism - Daily prayers are posted for use in personal devotions, small groups, or corporate worship. Click here to learn more.
- GCORR Real Talk is a series of conversations with community and faith leaders to discuss and uncover the disparities of race, ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status deeply embedded in our social fabric. Click here to read more. Here are some examples of anti-racism resources:
- Deconstructing White Privilege: A Discussion Guide – Provides a helpful path for conversations that can help lead congregations to understand and assess the racial dynamics in the church and community as well as grow in seeking justice and reconciliation in our everyday lives.
- Overt and Covert Racism – We might feel it’s easy to recognize blatant racism and discrimination but recognizing more subtle racism is more difficult. This guide helps to highlight ways covert racism occurs.
- 30 Days of Anti-Racism – While this emphasis is set for September, these thirty days can be enacted anytime, creating opportunities for self-reflection and action steps that can make a tangible difference in the lives around us as we live into anti-racism as an intentional way of discipleship.
- Anti-Racism Starts Do’s and Don’ts – Helpful infographic on what to keep in mind as you begin to engage and join in the antiracist movement.
- General Secretaries Table: Statement on Racism. Click here to read more.
Originally published on Discipleship Ministries March 17, 2021. Republished with permission on ResourceUMC.org March 19, 2020.