The PSEC Zachariah Walker Racial Justice Initiative (Zachariah Walker RJI) task force, named for the man who was brutally lynched on August 13, 1911 in Coatesville, Pa., is committed to expanding our consciousness and conversations around racial justice issues with the hope of nurturing anti-racism efforts in our congregations and communities. The task force invites congregations and individuals to a deeper awakening of the impact systemic racism and white supremacy have on white American Christian faith and culture. To that end, we issue the following statement on anti-racism.
Zachariah Walker Racial Justice PSEC Anti-Racism Statement
The Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ commits itself to the proclamation of the Gospel and the furthering of the mission of Jesus Christ. As disciples of Jesus, we are all called to follow the mandate to love one another completely, regardless of race, creed, gender, culture or difference. This is our mission: to speak the truth with love to powers and principalities, confronting bigotry and bias wherever we go.
We acknowledge the role that white Christians have played in both denying and, at the same time supporting, racist structures and attitudes, and we humbly beg forgiveness for our conforming to the evil of racism. We understand that bias can be an unconscious and unintentional failure, as well as a chosen worldview. We are reminded by the Scriptures that diversity and inclusion are necessary components of a mature, radically welcoming faith. We accept that each one of us has our own story to tell, our own history to own, and our own confession around racism for which we must atone.
Over the centuries, we have seen the pain and suffering brought about by systemic racism, and we commit ourselves to being proactively anti-racist in our work, our worship, and our communities. While we mourn the tragic losses created by a system rooted in white supremacy and nurtured by a system of white privilege, we commit ourselves to doing the work of Jesus to overcome hatred and oppression in our faith communities. We commit ourselves to opposing racism wherever it appears, whether it be institutional, economic, faith-based, or social.
Finally, we promise to be allies to all who are oppressed by these systems, committing ourselves to listen to the words of those who have been harmed by racism. We will stand in support of all who face oppressive situations, working together to dismantle the structures of this sin. We do this as servants of the risen Christ, who was Himself a poor person of color, oppressed by an invading nationalistic power, who was murdered for standing with others just like Him.
Add Your Name
The Zachariah Walker Racial Justice task force of the PSEC of the United Church of Christ is inviting individuals and entire congregations to join our anti-racism initiatives and sign this anti-racism statement. Please click here to sign ipetitions.com/petition/psecucc-antiracism-statement
The statement with signatures will be released to the media on January 15, 2021, the start of the weekend of MLK Day.
It is our hope that as we circulate this statement during Advent and Christmas-tide it promotes both reflection and discussion. Together, with courage in our hearts, we pray that Christ gives us the ability to understand this as a white problem that mars the soul of Christianity and our nation.