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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Fighting racism: The Church’s unfinished agenda

    January 31, 2017 / By Upper New York Communications

    Racism is everywhere, even in our churches. The racism that is apparent many times may be unintentional. The General Commission on Religion & Race ( has published these quotes to illustrate ways in which you may be unintentionally perpetuating racism.

    I acquiesce in the perpetuation of racism when I…

    • “don’t challenge racist jokes and comments.”
    • “feel threatened when interacting with persons of different races than my own.”
    • “assume that I will not be discriminated against because eof my race.”
    • “avoid events of ethnic groups other than my own.”
    • “ignore the literature and achievements of persons from ethnic groups other than my own.”
    • “think that racism is not a problem.”
    • “assume my point of view is the norm.”

    The General Commission on Religion & Race also published quotes that showcase small ways in which you can help dismantle racism.

    I actively participate in the dismantling of racism when I…

    • “try to challenge racial slurs and don’t tell jokes that put down other groups.”
    • “seek to befriend and understand persons from racial ethnic groups other than my own.”
    • “listen to and don’t discount the discrimination experience of others.”
    • “make opportunities to interact with persons of a variety of races and backgrounds.”
    • “try to educate myself about people differences.”
    • “try to use my access to persons with influence to serve as an advocate for racial persons and the elimination of racism.”

    If you are seeking ways to pray about the elimination of racism, Race and Prayer: Collected Voices, Many Dreams by editors Malcom Boyd and Chester Talton is a great resource. Here is an excerpt  of one of the prayers:

    “Almighty God…Raise up among us people of strength and courage to speak out and take action with love and commitment to end all forms of discrimination based on old racist practices that have no place in our world today. Help us to patiently listen to one another as we all work to end the pain and suffering that has imprisoned us all; and finally bring us into your holy presence as one people, united in your love. Amen.”

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 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."