Church Conference Adopts Mission Statement for Racial Justice
Racial Justice Mission Statement
As a community called Epworth living in the grace and mercy of God, trusting in the healing and liberating example of Jesus, and guided and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to being an anti-racist, justice-seeking church and to living out our enduring, always evolving understanding of what this means.
We celebrate racial and ethnic diversity and value the wholeness, power, and vibrancy made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all.
As an intentionally multi-racial and multi-ethnic community of faith, we recognize the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit for inspiration in our enduring work for racial and social justice.
We acknowledge the painful truth of historical and contemporary racism--including the sins of slavery, genocide, displacement, exploitation, land theft, internment, violence, separation and harm to families, financial and health disparities, stigmatization and legalized discrimination which continue to impact Black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) in our church and in our community. We recognize that racism manifests in interpersonal and systemic ways, and that the impacts of racism are insidious, pernicious and often unacknowledged. We know that race and ethnicity affect our lives and our decisions in an ongoing and overarching way, and that each of us walks through the world impacted differently.
We walk humbly, understanding we are continuing a mission for racial liberation, justice and equality carried forward by many who have come before us and in solidarity with larger social movements for racial justice.
We ask God’s guidance as we commit to centering the many racial and ethnic identities and voices in all aspects of our congregational life for the continued development of Epworth as a spiritual home and sanctuary for all people.
-Adopted by church conference action, December 7, 2021
The church conference also apporved the formation of a Racial Justice Action Team for the purposes of enabling the mission statement for racial justice and prioritizing action items and other outcomes from the culmination of the Holy Conversations on Race, Racism and Racial Justice process. The leadership for the Racial Justice Action Team will be nominated by the Nominations and Lay Leadership Committee.