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‘Facing Racism’ campaign offers Belhar resources

Second installment of program to focus on newly adopted confession

by Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – As part of the Facing Racism antiracism campaign, the PC(USA) is offering resources based on the newest addition to the Book of Confessions, the Confession of Belhar, adopted by the 222nd General Assembly in 2016. These resources include workshop materials introducing Belhar to the church, a video explaining what Belhar is and why it is important in the Reformed tradition, and study guides on the Confession of Belhar.

The call to action for this installment asks congregations and mid councils to consider planning, publicizing and holding study sessions on racism using these study guides at an upcoming meetings or events.

A release introducing these resources said, “Learning more about the newest confession will help engage people in conversation about its applicability to contemporary racism in the U.S. and the role of the church.”

Acting on the directive of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the communication agencies of the denomination’s six agencies have today launched the joint program, “Facing Racism,” to produce and promote antiracism resources for the church.

The FacingRacism.org website serves as a starting point for the dissemination of resources and offers a link to subscribe to receive regular updates on newly available materials and calls to action.

General Assembly referral 11-22/#06 gives instruction to “Direct the national church agencies to jointly formulate a communications plan to share antiracism resources, and create an electronic campaign to send information on antiracism resources and trainings to mid councils, congregations, and Presbyterian-affiliated institutions.”

“Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against, and work against racism. Antiracist effort is not optional for Christians. It is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, without which we fail to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.” (p. 2, Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community, Churchwide Antiracism Policy).

The publication of Facing Racism resources began March 21, 2017 and will conclude with the 223rd General Assembly meeting in June 2018. A bimonthly email will highlight various antiracism resources available for use in congregations and presbyteries and will include a call to action and a schedule of upcoming events.

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Many more free Belhar resources are available on the Facing Racism web page under the resources tab. The PC(USA) store also carries study guides for participants and leaders.

 


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