Last summer, moved by the events surrounding George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, several NSUMC members came together via Zoom to talk about racism and what our church can do to combat it. We who eventually became the Racial Justice Team began by talking with each other about how we were feeling. We shared information and heard some painful life truths from the people of color represented on our team. And we united around our common belief that a caring church like ours could not stand silent in the face of unacceptable racist actions and beliefs that are increasingly evident and have existed for far too long.
Out of that dialogue has come the beginnings of greater understanding and a commitment to action. To guide our congregation’s efforts, we developed this anti-racism statement in consultation with Church Council, who approved it earlier this year:
We the people of North Shore United Methodist Church are committed to speaking out against racial injustice, advocating for and working toward equality. We are people of good will, yet we recognize we have much more to do and to learn together in the face of growing racism, systemic inequities, violence, and oppression.
As United Methodists, we make a commitment to accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We now recommit ourselves to using that freedom and power to work to dismantle racism and make racial justice a reality in our church, our communities, our country, and our world.
It is our moral obligation that we listen, learn, and act to help bend the arc of justice toward God’s vision of love, wholeness, peace, and justice for all of God’s children.
We’re proud of this statement recognizing the good will that exists within our congregation and challenging us to recommit to moving beyond good will to action. But a statement is just a statement: easy to mouth, and more difficult to live up to. In the weeks and months ahead, you’ll continue to hear about opportunities for us to learn and grow and act together with a spirit of openness and humility.
Please reach out to any of us on the team with your thoughts, questions, and ideas. Join us at an upcoming meeting. We can make a difference, and we are stronger together.
– From the Racial Justice Team: Kathy Cole, Lisa Goodale, Anita Bryant Mauro, Jim and Judi Simmons, and Sue West, and our clergy liaison Deacon Barbara Javore