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Journey Toward Racial Justice

. . . Jesus replied: “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  -Matthew 22:37-40

FUMC Richardson is one of 15 congregations in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church implementing an active anti-racist agenda in response to Bishop McKee’s 2020 challenge for racial justice action. “We must acknowledge that racism remains a painful reality within The United Methodist Church,” Bishop McKee said. “Good work has been done across the years to name and combat racism in the North Texas Conference, but, in many ways, we are still in the early stages of our journey toward racial justice. We have work to do.”

FUMC Richardson has established a Racial justice Task Force to lead the church on this journey. The task force consists of a diverse group of people who responded to Clayton’s August 2020 call to serve on the task force. Clayton’s invitation included these inspiring words: “Compassion, respect, and inclusion are core to our CHRIST values and they challenge us to not be silent. We must find relevant ways to engage in respectful conversations about race, be unashamed to engage in advocacy for racial justice, and continue meaningful mission in our community to offer help and hope.” The task force is led by Dr. April Johnson Bristow and Cheryl Stevens. 

The Mission of the FUMCR Racial Justice Task Force is to identify racial inequity and injustice within our church for the purpose of proposing necessary change responsive to these issues. We support this effort so that we can fully live out Christ’s long-term purpose for FUMCR, locally, regionally, and globally.


Anti-Racism Resources

Take steps in understanding and discussions surrounding race relations.

As we go into the unknown future that God has for us, I'm more and more convinced that the church is called to be an anti-racist force in the world, not just neutral, but that we are actively anti-racist, advocates against racism. We have to learn how to listen to the stories of our brothers and sisters of color. We have to learn how to hear their laments, their cries, because they're telling us something right now: that our silence is complicity, that when we are silent, we are part of the problem. The Church of Jesus Christ has to be an anti-racist church to build spiritual unity for the future. -Dr. Clayton Oliphint in this video

  • A Christian Look at Racism
    A Christian Look at Racism

    As Christians we are called to love our neighbor, and today it is clear that love must include our attention to systemic racism. This is not easy, and most of us aren't sure how to get started. Here are some tools for learning and suggestions for how to help compiled by members of our Church & Society team, staff, and clergy.

    Racism Defined

      •  Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized;
      •  A doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles;
      •  A political or social system founded on racism.

    Scriptural Support

      •  Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)
      •  Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:20) 
      •  Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people. (Isaiah 10:1-2)

    Self Examination

    1. Have I fully loved God and fully loved my neighbor as myself?
    2. Have I caused pain to others by my actions or my words that offended my brother or my sister?
    3. Have I done enough to inform myself about the sin of racism, its roots, and its historical and contemporary manifestations? Have I opened my heart to see how unequal access to economic opportunity, jobs, housing, and education on the basis of skin color, race, or ethnicity, has denied and continues to deny the equal dignity of others?
    4. Is there a root of racism within me that blurs my vision of who my neighbor is?
    5. Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and I did or said nothing, leaving the victim to address their pain alone?
    6. Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism with me inflicting the pain, acting opposite of love of God and love of neighbor?
    7. Have I ever lifted up and aided a person who “fell victim” to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and paid a price for extending mercy to the other? How did I react? Did my faith grow? Am I willing to grow even more in faith through my actions?

    (Excerpted from wearesaltandlight.org/blog/2018/03/13/praying-for-racial-healing-in-our-land)

  • Adults & Youth
    Adults & Youth

    Listed are only some of the resources that are designed to guide adults and mature youth in how they think about racism in today's society. As United Methodists anti-racism is deeply ingrained in our heritage and DNA, yet we all have implicit biases. How do we as Christians overcome them so that we are not a part of the problem and are a part of the solution to racism in our world?

    All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
    (2 Corinthians 5:18)

    Videos

    Deconstructing White Privilege by Dr. Robin DiAngelo (20 minutes, discussion guide included)

    Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man series by Emmanuel Acho

    There’s a Direct Line from Lynching to George Floyd, PBS Interview with Bryan Stevenson, the subject of the 2019 movie Just Mercy and the author of the auto-biographical book on which the movie is based (20 minutes) 

    Being an Ally with People of Color from the General Commission on Religion and Race of the UMC (9 minutes) 

    Discussion on White Fragility with author Robin DiAngelo (80 minutes)

    Online

    Justice in June (or any other month)
    Backstory for this resource

    Know Your Bias from FUMCR Church & Society

    Cradle to Prison Pipeline from FUMCR Church & Society

    Anti-Racism Resources from the North Texas Conference of the UMC

    Books

    Recommendations from the Richardson Public Library for adults and middle-high schoolers.

    White Fragility by Dr. Robin DiAngelo
    Reading Guide

    The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

    I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
    Book  |  Discussion Guide 
     
    So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo 
    Book  |  Discussion Guide

    Movies

    Loving (Netflix and Amazon Prime)

    Just Mercy (Netflix and Amazon Prime)

    Harriet 

    Studies

    You Are Here: First Steps for White Christians on Race and Racism
    Created by The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race 
    Online Course

    Vital Conversations on Racism by the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church
    Videos  |  Discussion Guide

    Implicit Bias: What We Don’t Think We Think (United Methodist – General Commission on Religion & Race): A resource for congregations, leaders, and preachers who want to learn about implicit bias
    Online Course

    Podcast

    Seeing White from Scene On Radio

  • Those Raising & Teaching Children
    Those Raising & Teaching Children

    Listed are some resources designed to support and assist parents and those raising children in talking to them about racism.

    Train children in the way they should go; even when they are old they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

    Online

    Five Tips for Addressing Racism with Children and Ways United Methodists Can Stand Against Racism

    Raising Race Conscious Children

    How to Talk to Kids about Race: Books and Resources that Can Help

    Talking Race with Young Children from NPR

    Anti-Racism Resources from the North Texas Conference of the UMC

    Books

    Recommendations from the Richardson Public Library for the youngest readers, 1st-3rd graders, 4th-5th graders, and middle-high schoolers.

    Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey
    Book, Conversation Guide, and other resources related to the book

    God’s Dream by Desmond Tutu
     
    When God Made YouWhen God Made LightWhen God Made the WorldWhen I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Video

    PBS Kids Talk About Race and Racism

    Systemic Racism Explained 

  • The Church
    The Church

    The United Methodist Church has a long history of social justice as a part of our roots going back to our founder John Wesley. He put love into action by reaching out to people of all classes and worked to abolish slavery. However the UMC also has a history of being complicit with the societal discrimination that has pervaded our country since its founding. We are now, once again, confronted with the injustices that are happening every day in our communities. We as a church need to learn what racism really is and how each of us are caught up in that hurtful cycle, then work to make changes.

    There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28) 

    Online

    Moving Toward the Pain by Erin Hawkins, General Secretary, General Commission on Religion and Race of the UMC

    United Against Racism from the UMC

    United Methodist Women

    FUMCR Church & Society

    Video

    Being an Ally with People of Color from the General Commission on Religion and Race of the UMC (9 minutes) 

    Book

    The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby

  • Act!
    Act!

    A few suggestions for action:
      •  Start now, even if that means starting small!
      •  Show up when invited.
      •  Hire people of color.
      •  Spend responsibly.
      •  Advocate.

    But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24)

    Online

    United Methodists Stand Against Racism 

    Join Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in their work for civil and human rights.

    Connect with United Methodist Women in their work for racial justice.