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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Resources for Human Relations Day on Sunday, Jan. 20

    January 8, 2019 / By UNY Imagine No Racism Team


    As we continue to Imagine No Racism and journey together through small group experiences and study, we’d like to offer ways to bring the Imagine No Racism message into your worship settings. Human Relations Day on Sunday, Jan. 20, offers an ideal opportunity to incorporate messages of race inequality and injustice. In addition to other resources available through UMC Discipleship Ministries, we offer this video entitled Racism Is Real by Brave New Films, this prayer and call to justice and mercy.

    The 3:04 video, which can be used in worship or in a small group setting, offers powerful imagery and an impactful message to help our congregations to begin to see each other and the world around them through different eyes. We also hope that the use of the video and other resources in worship may stir interest among the laity in attending an Imagine No Racism small group either within your congregation or elsewhere in the district.

    We continue to pray for your ministry and our work together.

    In Christ, the Imagine No Racism Team                                                                                                                         

    Call to Worship for Human Relations Day                                                                                                                                                                                         Leader: It's coming—the Kingdom of God is coming! Let your Reign, O God, be acknowledged among all people.                                                                                 

    People: We stand on the threshold of truth. We are perched on the branches of justice.                                                                                                

    Leader: Across the horizon we see the outline of peace and harmony.                                                                         

    People: With privilege comes responsibility, With responsibility comes accountability. With accountability comes honesty. With honesty comes faithfulness.                                                           

    All: God of Creation and history, equip us to live faithfully in your Kingdom!


    Gracious God, every day we’re confronted with language and images that remind us that racism is real, and its impacts are far reaching. Open our eyes to see racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlement to others. Help us to not see racism as something that only happens in other communities and affects other people.

    Open our ears to recognize both unfairness and indifference; to hear even our own voices when we speak ignorance or ambivalence. Open our mouths to speak up when remaining silent is harmful; to speak out even if others won’t.

    Open our arms to embrace one another, to carry each other’s burdens, and to build bridges of understanding. Open our hearts so that we may fully receive your grace; point us toward your light so that we may more clearly understand your desires and vision for all humankind.

    We pray that in this new year we may remove the barriers that block us from seeing you clearly in one another; that divide rather that unite, and that keep us as strangers rather than neighbors. Give us the courage to stand up against those injustices and stand with those who are oppressed. Come Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen.

    For more information, contact:

    Nancy Raca [Mountain View & Finger Lakes & Binghamton Districts]   

    Charles Syms  [Cornerstone, Niagara Frontier & Genessee Valley]

    Georgia Whitney  [Adirondack, Albany & Oneonta] 

    Jeff Hodge (Crossroads, Mohawk & Northern Flow)

    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."