CPC Called to Be an Anti-Racist Conference

 

CENTRAL PACIFIC CONFERENCE CALLED TO BE AN ANTI-RACIST CONFERENCE

ADOPTED 2015 CPC ANNUAL MEETING IN PENDLETON

 

Bridgeport United Church of Christ and Ainsworth United Church of Christ
call upon the Central Pacific Conference to adopt this

RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT THE CENTRAL PACIFIC CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED
CHURCH OF CHRIST IS CALLED TO BE AN ANTI-RACIST CONFERENCE

Christian theology calls for the celebration of uniqueness, “So God created humankind in God’s
image”(Gen. 1:27), and interdependence “that they may all be one” (John 17:21). God calls us to be in
relationship with God and with one another. Since we are all created in the image of God, all of
humanity inherently should be free and equal. When our human systems fall short of this reality, it is
incumbent upon us as Christians to ensure that we are all treated fairly and justly. “Until all of us are
free, none of us are free” (Emma Lazarus).

It is in the spirit of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s words, “Few are guilty, all are responsible” and as
followers of Jesus the Christ that we present this resolution:

WHEREAS the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in 2003 adopted a call to action declaring
the United Church of Christ is Called to Be An Anti-racist Church; and

WHEREAS the General Synod Resolution in 2003 called for a proposal for action to be carried out at all
levels of the church; and

WHEREAS April 3, 2008, marked the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s last sermon and
began the resolution of a new Sacred Conversation on Race. During a press conference held that day at
Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, the Rev. Otis Moss, Senior Pastor of Trinity UCC, the Rev.
John Thomas, President of the United Church of Christ, and the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, General
Secretary of the National Council of Churches, called for a sacred conversation that is “urgently needed
in our churches, in our homes and work places, and in the halls of power.”; and

WHEREAS, we are witnesses to a crisis in our nation regarding systemic racism and oppression in
education, employment, government, religious institutions and our justice system; and

WHEREAS systemic racism has been highlighted in the news media because of the pervasive
mistreatment, including recurring killings, of African Americans and other people of color by law
enforcement officers in communities throughout the nation; and

WHEREAS the impacts of systemic racism are fundamentally at odds with our Christian beliefs and call
of the Gospel. Confronting racial inequity and oppression is essential for our humanity and spiritual life;
and

WHEREAS, racism is rooted in a belief of the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits,
unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege on Europeans
and European descendants; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia,
and Related Intolerance affirmed that racism has historically through imperialism and colonization
created an unequal world order and power balance with present global implications impacting
governments, systems, and institutions; and

WHEREAS, the denomination has shown leadership among many United Church of Christ
conferences, associations, and local congregations by initiating innovative anti-racism programs, by
developing anti-racism facilitators, and in general have made dismantling racism a priority, there is still
much to be done. As we continue in this effort, the work we do must reflect the historical and present
experiences and stories of all peoples impacted by racism. We must work from a paradigm reflective of
the historical relationships of racial and ethnic groups and racial oppression within the United Church of
Christ and society; and

WHEREAS, General Synods of the United Church of Christ have, since 1963, voted twelve
resolutions, statements, and pronouncements denouncing racism, and it is time to honor
mandates and expectations of this body and of the church; and

WHEREAS people of color who live within the boundaries of the Central Pacific Conference are
adversely effected by the reality of racism and white supremacy each and every day,

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT The Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of
Christ declares itself to be an Anti-racist Conference,

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the staff and ministry teams of the Central Pacific
Conference be required to engage in unpacking bias and dismantling racism education; and

CALLS UPON the churches and members of the Central Pacific Conference to make anti-racism a
priority by engaging or re-engaging in the Sacred Conversation on Race, by using denominational
materials or other resources with emphasis on unpacking bias and dismantling racism, and

CALLS UPON the Justice and Witness Ministry Team continue to connect the churches and members
of the Central Pacific Conference to resources to do this work; and

ASKS the churches and members of the Central Pacific Conference to report on their engagement or re-
engagement in the Sacred Conversation on Race at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Central Pacific
Conference.

FINANCIAL IMPACT: Funding for the implementation of this resolution will be made in accordance
with the overall mandates of the affected agencies and the funds available.

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