2015: Living the Charter for Racial Justice

Easter Sunday

2015: Living the Charter for Racial Justice


Loving Master of Grace and Mercy, we give thanks and praises unto you even when we are not worthy. We humbly ask forgiveness for not trusting and believing in your greatest of protection and unconditional love. We ask that you now give us strength to stand in boldness against those that don’t love our sisters and brothers equally. Master, give us the knowledge to understand how injustice against one is injustice against all. We are sorry for not doing all we can, but are thankful for another chance to get it right. We pray this day for Su Lim, Donald Reasoner and for Gum Moon Residence Hall in San Francisco. God of Grace and Mercy fall fresh on us as we do better, live better and love better. In the mighty name of the one who loved us best. Hallelujah!


“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
– John 20:1-2

When I look at who was up early going to check on Jesus, it was a woman. Yes, women have been the ones always concerned and getting up early to check on others. The words to the song “Because He Lives” allows women to continue their front line duties of making sure marginalized voices are heard, and those left behind achieve justice. Because the Savior lives, women, children and youth will resist racial injustice and win change. They will know through living the United Methodist Women purpose how to stay vibrant and active in seeking ways to include those whom society has labelled unwanted. I can hear, “fear not, I am with you.”

I am so glad to know that early in the morning Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, and when she found it empty went running to share the news. That is United Methodist Women members at their best – exposing and sharing the news of injustice, and also having a plan of action to show others concrete ways to stop injustice. Racial injustice is a reality that continues to hover over all our lives with hurtful and deadly outcomes, ruining lives and families beyond what can ever be measured. We know injustice was separated by sin and that resurrection through faith in Jesus Christ gives us hope. As members of  United Methodist Women we embrace and seek to live out the values of the Charter for Racial Justice.

The United Methodist Women's Charter for Racial Justice was created and adopted by the Women’s Division in 1952 and successfully adopted by the whole denomination in 1980. Racial justice is an ongoing focus of United Methodist Women mission work. We conduct regular racial justice workshops with members, and work in coalition with human and civil rights groups to track hate crimes and to promote racial justice in the United States and the world.

“Because He Lives” lyrics

God sent his son
They called him Jesus
He came to love
Heal and forgive
He lived and died
To buy my pardon
An empty grave
Is there to prove
My Savior lives.

Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future

And life is worth the living
Just because he lives.


As United Methodist Women members we all must embrace and share our Charter for Racial Justice and demand its usage by our units, districts, conferences and jurisdictions. With resolution 3371, A Charter for Racial Justice in an Interdependent World, coming up for renewal at General Conference in 2016, it is important that we remember the history and present day necessities of this document. It continues to be a vital part of who we are as United Methodist Women. Use this coming year between now and General Conference to reacquaint and rededicate yourself and your Methodist community with what the Charter stands for in our collective past, present and future.


It is also important to reach out to share the Charter’s message with the wider community. We are asking you to pull up the Charter and share a copy with your local newspaper. Write an article for your district or conference newsletter on why the work we do as United Methodist Women around racial justice is so important. Use the resources on the United Methodist Women’s Racial Justice webpage to craft letters, op-eds, articles and reflections to share in your community. Because He Lives, we also can live out our purpose to realize a more just world.

Janis Rosheuvel is executive for racial justice for United Methodist Women. Yvette Richards is United Methodist Women president.

Posted or updated: 4/3/2015 11:00:00 PM