Through prayerful conversations and collaboration the We Rise United team and the Grace UMC Church Council have created and adopted a congregational statement against racism. The purpose of this statement is to voice the congregation’s commitment to Black lives and Grace UMC’s intent to work towards becoming an anti-racist church and bolster the existing Grace UMC Statement of Inclusion. It is our hope and expectation that each person in the congregation will commit to this work as part of their faithful discipleship. Affirming this statement is the beginning of our journey together- as we do our part to end racism, both as a congregation and as individual followers of Christ.
During 2020 we all watched in shock and horror as we saw the acts of racial violence committed against Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Jacob Blake, their families and countless others. Although the news coverage has subsided, racial violence continues to occur and this is not only unacceptable, but profoundly sad. Every life has value and matters to God, but in these difficult times we must affirm that Black lives must matter equally to everyone else. Racism is evil. Racism against Black and Brown people is deeply rooted in the US and requires focused attention by all.
We also see discrimination and violence against other races or groups that are perceived as “other.” Jesus provided the model that following God means confronting injustice. This requires change. Grace United Methodist Church commits to being an anti-racist church in order to do our part to end these systemic injustices. Being anti-racist requires work that we will all need to do. We can no longer be silent about racial injustice in any form that it takes.
As both a congregation, and as individuals, we commit to examining our own hearts and histories as well as our thoughts, words, and deeds for the presence of racism. In order to create change we all must take action. This includes recognizing, learning about, and addressing the harmful impact that white privilege has had upon our neighbors, our personal relationships, and also on the people, systems, and structures of this country. As a congregation we must all commit to doing the work needed to be anti-racist and build an inclusive community that honors and respects the human dignity of all people.
Grace UMC’s Statement of Inclusion
Grace UMC embraces Jesus’ message that God loves everyone and we affirm that all persons are of sacred worth. We believe that every human being is created and gifted by God; therefore, every human being is invited to be a part of our church. We welcome into our fellowship, membership, and leadership, all people, regardless of age, economic reality, education, ethnicity, faith history, family structure, gender identity, nationality, mental and physical health, race, sexual orientation, and life experience.