Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this passage, the past General Assemblies of the PCUSA exhorted all to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.
One of the three main focus of the Matthew 25 Initiative is Dismantling Structural Racism.
Dismantling structural racism
Racism is deeply embedded in the life and history of the U.S. Through colonization, slavery and a shameful history of legislative action and judicial pronouncements, our nation created and embraced a system that valued and devalued people based simply on skin color and ethnic identity. People of color were deliberately subjugated for material, political and social advantage. Racism today is the continuing and enduring legacy of this history.
There is a growing awareness among Presbyterians that racism is a crisis and must be addressed. The PC(USA) is strongly committed to the struggle for racial justice.
Why do we talk about structural racism?
Racism is not primarily about individual prejudice or an individual’s beliefs and attitudes. Rather, racism in the U.S. is a socially constructed system. Some people are advantaged, and others are disadvantaged, merely because of their skin color, ethnic identity or their ancestral background. Social power and prejudice have combined to treat people differently, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Some people are privileged while others are oppressed. As a consequence, there is unequal and inequitable access to resources such as money, education, information and decision-making power.
The Call for Action for Presbytery of Newton
The Commissioners to the 224th General Assembly invites members of the presbytery to join them in learning and doing more about dismantling structural racism. They are recruiting people interested in being part of design team, that will be coached by Rev. Alonzo Johnson, director of the Self Development of People of the PCUSA, to determine next action steps and conversations needed to move forward in this important ministry.
If you are interested in being part of a design team please submit your name people. You will be contacted in the near future.