Religion & Race

For nearly five decades, The United Methodist Church has entrusted the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) with guiding the church at all levels in the important work of dismantling racism, building the Beloved Community, and ensuring institutional equity.


To many, GCORR is known as the go-to agency for monitoring how well the church is incorporating ethnic diversity in clergy and lay leadership within congregations and conferences as well as at the General Church level in agencies and within The Council of Bishops. This is a tangible way of promoting and tracking the full participation of people of color in The UMC.

We too want to empower local churches in the Louisiana Conference as to the important work of dismantling racism in Louisiana. 

Here in Louisiana, you can contact Rev. Bertrand Griffin and Rev. Isaac Hammond for more information on how to equip your local church. You can also contact Samuel Rodriguez, the Director of Connectional Relations for the General Commission Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church 


Below, you will find various resources from Religion & Race for use in your local context: 


Implicit Bias

 

Implicit Bias is all about ‘what we don’t think we think’ — wait a minute, what?!? As each of us experiences life — in school, at home, in church, at work, watching T.V.  — we are surrounded by a number of biases. Some of these biases we consciously accept as our own, some we consciously reject, while many more fall into the subconscious level. Even though we are not aware of implicit biases, they constantly help to form our beliefs, values, ideas, and actions every day.

As followers of Jesus, we are created and called by the God who consistently questions beliefs, values, and motives. By taking an intentional look at implicit bias and the ways it works in our brains and in our actions, we commit to rooting out the biases that are corrupted by stereotype or prejudice and separate us from the Beloved Community.

Use this workbook to learn more about one of the significant barriers to reaching our true goals of diversity, community, and equity.

Also available under the auspices of Implicit Bias is a guidebook that helps define implicit bias in ways that are easy to understand from a human resources perspective. Your team can review the illustrations and discover ways to re-frame them for your context. For example, you can discuss ways the HR profession may be impacted by implicit bias, in recruitment, retention, performance evaluations and compensation decisions. Laws like the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) are guardrails to help avoid harmful biases. 


Vital Conversations
 

Vital Conversations 4: Race, Culture, The Church, And Human Sexuality is a video study course for small groups in congregations, campus ministries, and local and regional church leadership teams. The series features conversations between theologians, pastors, worship leaders, laity in leadership, Biblical scholars, and community activists to offer varied and multilayered perspectives on the Christian church’s ongoing debate over the status, role, and rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). Sessions 1-6 are available now and sessions 7-11 will be available January 2019.


What is Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Ministry?

With the changing demographics within the United States and also in The United Methodist Church, cross-racial and cross-cultural (CR/CC) ministry is on the rise.  So what is CR/CC ministry?  According to the Book of Discipline 2016 para.425.4, “CR/CC appointments are made as a creative response to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the church and its leadership.  CR/CC appointments are appointments of clergypersons to congregations in which the majority of their constituencies are different from the clergyperson’s own racial/ethnic and cultural background.”

Cross-racial and cross-cultural ministry is when a clergyperson is appointed across racial/ethnic and cultural lines, and the pastor works together with the faith community to live out the Good News of Jesus Christ in the way they serve and engage in ministry. Thus it is not just the clergy who are engaged in the CR/CC ministry, but the laity also are in CR/CC ministry when they minister together across the racial and cultural boundaries.

For more on this topic, click here