Glowing flaming crosses are just as American as glaring red rockets. Systemic racism and White supremacy are among our nation’s cornerstones. Stolen Native American land and enslaved Africans made the United States a superpower.
Dehumanizing and demoralizing Black people made America great. Some believe standing on people of color’s necks can only preserve greatness. Fear and hatred drove MAGA March attendees to destroy Black Lives Matter banners from two Black Washington, D.C. churches.
Racist vandals ripped them from Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal and Asbury United Methodist Church’s edifices. That action didn’t satisfy their lust for dehumanization and disrespect. Their unquenchable desire inspired them to set the banners ablaze, sparking a fire with a familiar glimmer.
Common and John Legend remind us in their song, Glory, freedom is a religion. Systemic racism denies Black people the spiritual practice of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Dismissing the sacred worth of Black people is part of some Trump supporters’ liturgy.
As people of faith, we affirm all people as fabulous creations of God. The Story of Ham isn’t proof that Black people are the Black sheep of God’s family. She loves all her children equally. We denounce both the action and the rhetoric that challenges the latter reality.
Variations of that rhetoric and action have haunted Black people since 1619, according to Black liberation theology’s father, the Rev. Dr. James Hal Cone.
“To keep hope alive was not easy for African Americans, facing state-endorsed terrorism nearly everywhere in America. Trouble followed them wherever they went—in the morning, at night, and all day long—keeping them awake and stalking them in nightmares, like a wild beast, waiting to attack its prey,” Cone wrote in his 2011 book, The Cross & The Lynching Tree.
Our current national leadership created a safe space for those who consider Black people prey. It unleashed individuals giving into impulses to act like wild beasts. Their disregard for humanity and decency has kept the oppressed wide-awake – living a nightmare.
That disregard for humanity and decency is an abomination to the God of the oppressed. We stand in solidarity
with both the Black faith communities and the Black community at large. Our God and her son, Jesus, call us to treat everyone as a gift.
This attack on these Black churches, though, isn’t just a hate crime; ripping those Black Lives Matter banners from church fronts violated religious freedom. Affirming and proclaiming that Black lives matter – by any means necessary – is also a spiritual practice.
The Potomac Association Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ, on the recommendation of the Justice and Witness Committee and the principal author of the above statement, Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, adopted this statement on December 15, 2020.
The Potomac Association Racial Justice Working Group plans to share some new piece of information here at this site on a weekly basis. Slowly but surely, we are moving forward to offer resources and suggest a variety of ways to connect around this issue. On July 15th, thirty representatives of Potomac Association churches met together on ZOOM to describe what they and their individual churches have been doing, or to share a need for resources. We are tentatively planning another such gathering in November. Date to be announced soon.
Learn more about Racial Justice initiatives from the Potomac Association, Central Atlantic Conference and United Church of Christ.
Ecclesia: Reimagining the Church through the Lens of Racial Justice
Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 9:00am via Zoom Video Conference.
Meet, Greet and Fellowship
Special Acknowledgments, Announcements and Speak Out Business Meeting.
Focused Conversations via Panel and Small Groups: “What would the Church look like if we re-imagine the Church through the Lens of Racial Justice?”
- Saturday; Oct 3, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time
- Meeting ID: 861 5283 9117
- Passcode: 442419
- Dial In Number: 301-715-8592
2021 Budget will be voted on during the Potomac Association Fall Meeting on Oct. 17, 2020.
2021 Budget and 2021 Church Assessments Reports are in the Potomac Association Newsletter
Reverend Mark Granfors-Hunt, Association Treasurer Court Buchanan, Association Associate Treasurer
The Delegates and Authorized Ministers of the Potomac Association are called to the 2020 Potomac Association Fall Meeting.
Theme: Ecclesia: Re-imagining the Church
Location: ZOOM Conference Call
Day, Date, and Time: Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 9:00 am
Registration: Eventbrite Link for Advance Registration
- CAC and PA Leadership Reports
- PA Committee Reports
- PA Financial Report and Presentation of the 2021 Annual Budget
- Intentional conversations around “Re-Imagining the Church” to include a racial justice discussion
Faith & Democracy 2020, a campaign of the Justice & Witness Action Network, calls on local churches across the Central Atlantic Conference to come together on Sunday, Sep. 20, for a time of worship and mobilization to call on voters to vote in the General Election.
As people of faith, our vote serves as a powerful tool to rid our communities of injustice, racism and inequity. There is no better time than now to be faithful to God’s call. The call to engage in public life. The call to fight for justice and liberation.
Join us for this important organizing moment in the Faith & Democracy 2020 campaign. Mark your calendar and prepare to receive the Faith & Democracy 2020 worship packet soon.