This task force/committee/team referred to here forth as The Racial Reconciliation Design Team (RRDT) will seek to respond to the will of the Conference Connectional Ministry Leadership Team and the Advocacy Areas ministry.
Face Book Page https://www.facebook.com/AdvocacyRRDT
The purpose of the task force is as following:
- Identifying the persons and groups they need to hear from (for example, the colleges mentioned in the motion, BMCR, local church laity, etc.)
- Propose a plan that will help congregations to work together around the issues of racism in their own communities
- Report the results to 2015 AC with a plan for implementation in the following year
The RRDT Racial Reconciliation Design Team members at current include:
Rev. Amiri Hooker
Rev. Bernie Maczyk
Mr. Doug Markham
Rev. Tiffany Knowlin
Rev. Paul Harmon
Mrs. Joanna Donegan
Mrs. Frances Hill
Rev. Ryan Spurrier
Rev. Genova McFadden
The Annual Conference, districts, and local congregations within South Carolina are becoming more diverse; and racism has been a systemic and personal problem within the US and The United Methodist Church (UMC) and its predecessor denominations since their inceptions. United Methodist Christians, like the rest of God’s human family, represent many races, colors, cultures, languages, backgrounds and life experiences. The South Carolina Annual Conference is committed to the eradication of racism.
The Rev. John Culp made a motion during the Connectional Ministries report Tuesday of the 2014 Annual Conference that the Emerging Ministry budget line use funds to create a task force and host two one-day conferences in 2015 to address racial prejudice and injustice as a theological and missional imperative in local churches and communities.
The original motion calls for two conferences to be held—one at Wofford College and one at Claflin University—and for all clergy and at least one layperson from the local church to attend the conferences. Each pastor would also report at charge conference what is being done in the local church and community toward racial reconciliation and justice, or set specific goals.
In support of his motion, Culp told the body he remembered when he came into the conference 45 years ago and witnessed the merger of the two conferences: one predominantly white and the other African-American. While we have made much progress since then, he said, “Racism still exists in our churches and our society.”
Two weeks after annual conference the executive body of The Connectional ministry established an intentionally small, racially diverse team, with the specific goals of 1) Creating a model by the fall meeting to deal with the intent of the conference motion. 2) to find a way to further the conversations in the Annual Conference around the sins of Racism. Rev. Amiri B Hooker, was selected as chair of the newly formed S.C. Conference Racial Reconciliation Design Team.
After reading together as a group The SC Conference Plans of Merger and the following books; Methodism’s Racial Dilemma: The Story of the Central Jurisdiction by James S. Thomas; A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion by Trevor Hudson; Black People in the Methodist Church by William B. McClain; The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone; Just Us or Justice?: Moving Toward a Pan-Methodist Theology F. Douglas Jr. Powe; Love in Hard Places By D. A. Carson
After reading “A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion,” by Trevor Hudson, the design team felt the conference could best cultivate compassion and understanding about racism if they made pilgrimages together, visiting some of these racially significant sites firsthand and dialoguing about the issues and pain.
These pilgrimages are for every congregation—African-American, Caucasian, Korean, Latino and Native American—should participate.
The Racial Reconciliation Design Team decided to organize healing pilgrimages to significant locations in South Carolina’s racial history.
The Concept of pilgrimage is to go and become a part, instead of just another meeting at another location, the team wants people to actually go to places (of racial significance) to say, This is what happened here; this is part of our racial legacy in South Carolina.” Our hopes is that participants will then ask, and begin to answer the question, of “How do we begin to unravel and unmask racial issues around this location.” A words about how our own pilgrimage changed the conversations in our own group could be helpful here
The long-term goal is to create healing and encouragement by taking pilgrimages to these sacred locations across the conference, and therefore lead to equipping and supporting leadership to eradicate racism.
AFFIRM DIVERSITY; CHALLENGE RACISM
25 Things your Congregations can do to Affirm Diversity and Challenge Racism
We’re all part of God’s beloved community, and there is much to celebrate in our diverse cultures, ethnicities, and life experiences. There are also times when we are called to challenge racial stereotypes, injustice, and intolerance. What’s the role of our congregations in affirming our diversity while challenging racism? Here are 25 ideas for your consideration. To download and print this resource, please click here.
PERSONAL ASSESSMENT REFLECTION QUIZ
What does it mean to be a personal, community, and/or congregational and denominational witness–and do we have what it takes to be one–to be all of them? This Personal Assessment Reflection Quiz will help you answer these questions and more deeply explore how to better live out the Scriptures, esp in their call to be a witness for God.
Click here to download this resource.
SUBTLE RACISM: A RESOURCE
Are you familiar with everyday racism, subtle racism, or racial microaggressions? The following “sound bites” are intended to help readers examine the times in our lives when we experience or participate in subtle or everyday racism. To download and print this resource, please click here.
Annual Conference Resources
Study and Worship Resources
- A Guide to Viewing the Movie “Selma”
- Top 5 Resources for Community Dialogue on “Selma”
- #Selma50: A listing of multimedia resources from Orpah.com
- Faithlink – Persistent Racism: Recent news reports show that racism persists in spite of landmark legal decisions and great progress over the past few decades. How can Christians witness to God’s desire for human equality and justice?
- Faithlink – Racism and The Great Debaters: The movie The Great Debaters, based on the successful debate team at Wiley College, offers glimpses into racism in the United States. What issues from the African American experience of racism challenge today’s church and world?
- National Coalition Building Institute: The National Coalition Building Institute is an international non-profit leadership development network dedicated to the elimination of racism and other forms of oppression.
Quizzes and Infographics
- Building Relationships Across Racial Divides
- The Breath of Life
- Do Something More
- Selma: More than a Movie
- A Pastoral Letter to White Americans
- After Grand Jury Rulings, What is the Church’s Witness?
- Race: The Power of an Illusion
- Racism is Still the Global Issue That No One Wants to Talk About
- Frederick Douglass’ Irish Sojourn: A bracing look at his encounters with poverty and prejudice across the Atlantic