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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    From the Desk of Bishop Webb: UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

    May 14, 2020 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb

    Editor's Note: On May 14, the Council of Bishops of the UMC released the following statement about the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

    The Bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for justice and the eradication of racism and white supremacy in the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Georgia.

    In a statement released today and signed by Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the leaders of the church joined the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society in condemning this senseless killing and racism and white supremacy in every form.

    “Racism is real and it must no longer exist in our communities. The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disparities in our system that have been fed by racism in cities across America,” the statement reads.   

    Noting that the list of innocent Black lives who have been killed grows each day, the bishops said it was time for “The United Methodist Church to take a stand and to join our prayers and our actions and denounce our complicity. It is time for us to reclaim The United Methodist Social Principles that name racism as sin and states that it is antithetical to the gospel itself.” 


    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 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."