Agencies offering resources to address racism
After the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, triggered protests and rioting in Baltimore in April, United Methodist Bishop Marcus Matthews addressed the situation in a May 28 op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun.
In it, he wrote that he prays "that the church will be relevant, standing together for a world free of racism. ... But most of all, I pray our hope is transformed into action – action that allows people of faith everywhere to see racism as a spiritual issue and begin at once to address it."
On June 18, Matthews repeated his call for action in the wake of the killings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an article posted on the Baltimore-Washington Conference website. Many other bishops echoed his call in their responses to the tragedy.
To help United Methodists address racism, United Methodist Communications has created a special topics webpage on racial justice. Collected there are articles and statements adopted by General Conference as well as links to the pages of general agencies and other groups providing resources.
Among the resources the General Commission on Religion and Race offers to help congregations confront issues of racism are:
- "Fruitful Conversations on Race" video.
- Stories and resources from Baltimore-Washington.
- "Vital Conversations: Mass Incarceration"
Working with Baltimore-Washington, Rethink Church created strongerbaltimore.org, which lists opportunities to volunteer to help rebuild and heal Baltimore after the riots.
Interpreter carried two pastoral letters and a guide for small-group discussions on racism and racial reconciliation in the print and digital editions of its July-August 2015 issue.