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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    An Opportunity to Serve: Imagine No Racism District Volunteer Advocate

    January 8, 2018 / By Teressa Sivers, Chair of the Bishop's Taskforce on Eliminating Racism

    Editor’s Note: In the video above, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb invites members of the Upper New York Annual Conference to become an Imagine No Racism District Volunteer Advocate. An article describing this position follows.

    36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 [Jesus] said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~Matthew 22 

    On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you: Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? Sacrament of Baptism, United Methodist Hymn, p. 40

    Racism is a disease that infects the hearts, minds, souls and bodies of individuals. churches and communities. Our Social Principles state, “Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominate race is innately superior to others.” Racism is contrary to the purpose and will of God. As children of God who are to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8),” we are called to action. In the Upper New York Annual Conference, we are going to Imagine No Racism together! We are creating the Imagine No Racism District Team to help us imagine this as a conference.

    You may be the person we are looking for to help lead this important ministry!

    • Do you have a passion for racial justice and equity?
    • Are you open to change and willing to grow in your knowledge and awareness of racial injustice and white privilege?
    • Do you have some knowledge already of racism and/or white privilege?
    • Are you able (with help and guidance) to facilitate small groups and address conflict?
    • Do you actively uphold Wesley’s Three General Rules: Do no harm. Do God. Attend to the Means of Grace (stay in love with God).

    If so, let us know! Click the link below for an application. Return forms to the Upper New York Conference Office at 7481 Henry Clay Boulevard, Liverpool, NY 13088.

    The Imagine No Racism District Team will work to form District small groups of clergy and laity, who will engage in deep listening, transformative study, and meaningful action to eliminate racism and white privilege in themselves and their churches and communities.

    Members of the Imagine No Racism District Team will: 

    • Attend preliminary and subsequent trainings led by the General Commission on Religion and Race. The training will be held within our Upper NY Conference.
    • Attend and participate in the District Day Orientation, to be held on Saturday, April 21. The District Day will be held at each District’s communication hub(s) and livestreamed from the UNY Conference office.
    • Meet with and receive support from the Regional Coordinator for their area.
    • Coordinate and resource small groups of clergy and laity in your district.
      • Join each small group at their initial meeting.
      • Make sure they have the resources needed and have more meetings on their calendars.
      • Check in with each small group’s convener to see that they are meeting regularly and making progress.
      • Provide ongoing support as needed.
      • Intervene with the help of the Regional Coordinator if issues arise.
      • Use the internet, especially email and social media, to keep everything and everyone organized and connected.
      • Travel around the District and to Conference training with mileage reimbursed.

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."