6 Ways to Engage Your Local Church in Racial Justice Ministry

6-ways-cpc1. Identify a small group or even one person who is interested in nurturing a racial justice ministry in your congregation. Put them in touch with Elizabeth Durant at the Racial Justice Network. We can provide support, resources, training, coaching and encouragement.

2. Organize a book group at your church, participate in an online discussion, or contact the Racial Justice Network if you are interested in partnering with another church. Check out some of the books on our reading list.

3. Plan a movie night at your church. Make it a potluck and arrange for a facilitator to lead a discussion afterwards. Check out this list of recommended videos. Contact us if you’re interested in borrowing a movie or need help purchasing a film.

4. Engage in “Sacred Conversations on Race”. The UCC website has excellent resources, whether you are trying it for the first time or looking to go beyond what you’ve already experienced. The Racial Justice Network can help you find a facilitator in your area.

5. Find a local organization in your area that is working for racial justice. (If you are a rural church, start with this list by Rural Organizing Project.) Develop a partnership slowly by going to public events or meetings sponsored by the group. White folks: step back, listen, and respect the leadership of people of color.

6. Re-imagine your church’s history. Begin by hosting Walidah Imarisha’s excellent presentationWhy Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History” to learn more about our region’s history. Then learn more about the indigenous owners of your church’s land. (Archives exist at Pacific University, and Elizabeth is working on providing you with a resource guide for this work.)

Wait…one more…

* Commit to pray each week for racial justice. Dismantling racism requires the personal, cultural and institutional transformation of our society. White folks: how is God calling you to repent of racism and work to repair the damage done by your ancestors? How can we invite God to transform us, our families, our communities, our church?

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