The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pledging their ongoing dedication to anti-racism work, both within the church and in our communities. A revival of the Dismantling Racism campaign, launched in June 2020, will strengthen efforts to recognize racism as a sin and challenge unjust systems of power and access.
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton shares a video message to assure all United Methodists that the Council of Bishops is committed to this vital effort, saying, “We will work tirelessly until we can celebrate the day when we can say that there is justice and equity for all of God’s people.”
I'm Thomas J. Bickerton, the president of the Council of Bishops.
Following the horrific and unjust acts surrounding the murder of George Floyd early in 2020, our Council of Bishops knew that we needed to take leadership to respond to the actions surrounding that blatant act of racism.
In June of 2020, we initiated an anti-racism approach, both internally examining the sin of racism within the Council of Bishops and looking at ways in which we could provide resources and stimulating conversations for the church as we deal with the sin of racism all around us.
But we all know what's happened since 2020.
We've been dealing as a denomination with issues of separation and disaffiliation. We've been dealing with our churches being shut down and reopened due to COVID and post-COVID.
We've been dealing with sustainability matters that make it difficult for us to think about what our church will look like moving forward.
And yet, the sin of racism persists.
I want you to know, as the president of the Council of Bishops, that we, the bishops of The United Methodist Church, pledged to keep the issue of dismantling racism at the forefront of our work, both internally and externally, as we exert our leadership as a council.
Internally, each one of our Council of Bishops’ meetings centers at a time set aside for conversation around the sin of racism and our own internal racism as a council.
We also are working diligently to continue to provide video and print resources so that the church as a whole might continue to have needed conversation about how we deal with our own racism and how we address the sin of racism in our communities and throughout our culture.
I want you to know that we will work tirelessly until we can celebrate the day when we can say that there is justice and equity for all of God's people.
May it be so.