Communication groups aim to inspire conversation and action within local communities
by Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – 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 will serve 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).
Resources will be published frequently between today and 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.
The first set of resources for Presbyterians comes from the antiracism policy Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community. The document contains background information, including historical references and theological frameworks.
This month, the six study guides that accompany this policy paper are highlighted as a series of hourlong conversations adults and youth can use to explore the Bible and racism, study racial reconciliation and learn to respond to racism as a community of faith.
The call action for this study series asks Presbyterians to “consider planning, publicizing and holding study sessions on racism using these study guides at meetings or retreats. Having a facilitated conversation about race and racism will help your congregation become familiar with the issues and provide tools for talking about racism in the U.S.”
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