Racial Justice Charter Newsletter: September 2016

Racial Justice Charter Newsletter: September 2016

Questions & Answers with Janis Rosheuvel, Executive for Racial Justice

Q: UMW is too political. Shouldn't we just be focusing on Jesus and following his example?

A: The work of United Methodist Women and its predecessor organizations and movements has always engaged with power structures, within the church, community, state house and beyond. Throughout our history, our work has always spoken truth to power, weather it was to the men in our church or the United States Congress and the President.

Our work for justice has always been deeply embedded in the Wesleyan tradition of following scripture, reason, tradition and experience to discern how to act in the face of the world's grossest injustices.

God calls us to be God's ears, eyes, arms and feet in the world. This means we are to take action in the world to end racial injustice. Prayer is an action. We must also pray with our feet by, yes, listening to the people most impact by harm, marching, and going to tell our friends, neighbors and Congress people and others about how we as United Methodist Women want to see a world that fully honors and uplifts all human beings.

United Methodist Women is not only driven by our biblical and Methodist traditions; we are also given a mandate to act for justice by the Book of Discipline and the Book of Resolutions as well as the Church's Social Principles and by the directives that our Board of Directors vote on.

God's work is spiritual work. God wants us to work on personal spiritual formation. God's work is political work. God wants us to participate in the global ministries of the church and society. Jesus taught his followers the beatitudes to grow in their personal faith. He also taught us to be peacemakers and was a political figure who challenged the status quo of the Roman Empire to stand beside poor and working people, women, children, people with disabilities and those who had been cast out of society. We must follow in Jesus' footsteps. That is our mandate as Christians and as United Methodist Women.

Leadership Development Days 2016-2017 and Caucusing for Racial Justice

Leadership Development Days (LDD) is a three-day weekend filled with practical, hands-on experiences, moving worship services, workshops, networking and more for United Methodist Women members newly elected to leadership positions of the organization and anyone who wants to participate. LDD workshops include tools for spiritual growth, communicating across generations, telling the UMW story and more! As was done in 2015, the upcoming LDD session will host Racial Justice Caucuses where LDD participants will be divided into two groups—a white caucus and a people of color caucus. Below, you will find a list of frequently asked questions about why and how the caucuses have been designed and will roll out.

Q: What are we doing? What is the purpose of Racial Justice Caucuses?

A: Racial Justice Caucuses are grounded in the need for racial healing to begin from the understanding that racism impacts different groups differently.

Q: Why are we separating into two groups?

A: The caucuses are an acknowledgment of the need for honest conversations about race and racism we need to have that can often be more productive and frank when we are in not in a mixed race grouping.

Q: How can we talk about racial justice if we are in an all-white (or homogeneous) group?

A: Separating is meant to allow for deeper learning within a group in order to have more meaningful, insightful and rigorous cross-racial dialogs.

Q: Why are there not separate sessions for people of color groups?

A: The grouping of people of color into one session is meant to affirm that there are shared and unique impacts that people of color face when dealing with and fighting racism.

Q: What will the content of the caucuses be?

A: The content of both caucuses will broadly focus on the following areas: (1) defining and discussing systemic racism, (2) engaging with and examining the Black Lives Movement policy platform (3) opportunities to practice building solidarity within and across racial groups and (4) the biblical foundations for our racial just work.

Q: How can I prepare to reenter a group that is cross-racial and continue doing anti-racist work following my caucusing time?

A: Working toward racial justice is challenging and can leave us in uncomfortable places. Share your learning and honor the confidentiality of the space you and your cross-racial allies were in. We will all have a chance to debrief as a cross-racial group after our caucuses. As always, keep learning, praying, listening and taking action for racial justice!

You can participate in the Racial Justice Caucuses and Leadership Development Days in Charlotte, Nc., January 27-29, 2017. Registration is open through December 2, 2016.












Posted or updated: 8/31/2016 11:00:00 PM

Member Corner

Click Here.Charter for Racial Justice Facebook Page Propels Discussions on Race in the Delaware-Peninsula Conference, by Denise Snyder, Northeastern Jurisdiction President

Click Here.The Anti-Racist Resource List 

2017 Reading Program & Racial Justice

For 140 years, United Methodist Women have been involved in mission that includes prayer, study and action. The Reading Program is a study opportunity, but it should also lead to action. The purpose of the program is to encourage United Methodist Women members to:

  • Expand understanding of and participation in God's mission.
  • Increase sensitivity to all human beings—their needs, interests and concerns.
  • Encourage critical thinking about issues facing humanity today.
  • Grow in understanding of Scripture as it relates to Christian faith in contemporary life.
  • Enhance self-knowledge and act from that knowledge.
  • Strengthen involvement in local and global Christian mission.

Educating and acting for racial justice is an integral part of the work that the reading program does. Take a look at these exciting titles on the 2017 list:

Click Here.Racial Jusice Newsletter

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