A team of racial justice advocates from Southern Ohio and Kentucky District along with staff from the Mission and Ministry Board and On Earth Peace are working to design a denomination-wide study-action process for the Church of the Brethren, focused on how the church can become an agent of change related to racism and racial justice. This work was delegated to the district and On Earth Peace by the 2022 Annual Conference in response to the query “Standing with People of Color.”
Please pray… For the work of the Standing with People of Color Committee of Annual Conference.
Who is already called to the work of racial justice, or is already active in any way? The committee is hoping to start with an accurate picture of what is already happening. It wants to connect with initiatives or individuals at any level in the Church of the Brethren (community, congregation, district, denomination) who are working on racial justice issues in any way (education, activism, healing, spiritual renewal, etc.), whether they are doing their work inside or outside of the church. The committee also is interested in getting to know people who have a passion for this topic but may not yet be publicly active.
Please contact the committee at StandingWithPeopleOfColor@brethren.org, either because you are a racial justice advocate or because you want to bring a person or initiative to the committee’s attention. Please send as much information as possible to help the committee connect directly. Contact details and congregation and district affiliations will be very helpful.
The 2022 Annual Conference statement included in the committee’s task reads as follows:
“We recognize the struggles faced by many of our sisters and brothers of color and believe the church should be agents of change. We encourage congregations, districts, agencies, and other denominational entities to continue to follow the teachings of Jesus by living out the great commandment of loving our neighbor as ourselves. We understand the great diversity that the word neighbor implies. So, we encourage congregations to study the teachings of Jesus and how they apply to our relationships with all people of color, to express solidarity with all people of color, offer sanctuary from all forms of violence, and identify and dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions, and then begin to live out those findings by being Jesus in the neighborhood.”
This work is to be implemented through a two-year study-action process, 2022-2024.
— Matt Guynn of the On Earth Peace staff submitted this article on behalf of the Standing with People of Color Committee. Find out more about the committee and how it is beginning its work at www.brethren.org/news/2022/standing-with-people-of-color-committee.