Resources for Disciple Groups

The materials provided can be used in Discipleship Groups to facilitate a discussion around Dismantling Racism.

Denominational statements and resources
Ecumenical councils
Suggested Discussion Questions for Small Groups
Quotes and Lyrics
Children's books on prejudice and anti-racism

Denominational Resources

Almost every American denomination has a statement on the social and racial justice concerns of the church. These are statements which are adopted by the judicatory body of each denomination to encourage engagement, study and change in the church's policy and practice around anti-racism. In this Discipleship time we will explore the statements and the ways these statements do or do not impact the life of the church. We will also explore ways we, as spiritual leaders in the church, use these statements as ways of beginning or engaging in study and change in the church. Access to the Web by participants will be required for this discussion.

ELCA

UMC

UCC

Presbyterian Church-USA

  • PCUSA's Social Policy statement
    To prevent racial problems from being viewed as only Southern phenomena, the 1956 PCUSA Assembly called on its members to "stop pointing the finger of accusation at areas of high tension or conflict...and to work to break the patterns of discrimination wherever they appear." (PCUSA, 1956, p. 227) This is an interesting historical look at the general statements on race from the Presbyterian Church.

The Episcopal Church

Christian Church Disciples of Christ

American Baptist

Roman Catholic

Ecumenical Councils

World Council of Churches

Alongside the denominational statements the World Council of Churches has also formulated a statement on Being Church and Overcoming Racism: A Time for Transformative Justice.

"Racism as a concern of the ecumenical movement goes back to the World Missionary Conference, in Edinburgh 1910, where explicit references were made to racism. A special programmatic focus on the issue of racism dates from 1968, thirty-four years ago, when the IVth assembly of the WCC set its face decidedly against the scourge of racism and thus gave impetus to the creation of a Programme to Combat Racism (PCR). From that time on, the WCC played a significant role within the international anti-racism movement, extending solidarity and resources to thousands of Indigenous and racially and ethnically oppressed communities and organizations, and those who work in support of them, in almost every part of the world." (from the introduction)

Churches Uniting in Christ

Churches Uniting In Christ has also issued a statement combating institutional racism in churches. CUIC has made anti-racism one of its primary foci in its newly formed structure. Churches which are part of the CUIC have also subscribed to the CUIC statement. These are:

  • African Methodist Episcopal Church

  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

  • Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

  • International Council of Community Churches

  • Presbyterian Church USA

  • United Church of Christ

  • United Methodist Church

  • The ELCA and the Moravian Church Northern Province are partners with CUIC in mission and dialogue.

Suggested Discussion Questions for Small Groups

  • How aware are congregations of denominational statements condemning racism?

  • How would spiritual leaders let congregations know about these statements? What educational tools would be useful to communicate the importance and relevance of these statements?

  • How would knowing about such statements impact the way a congregation might live out its discipleship?


Quotes and Lyrics

Toni Morrison

"I really think the range of emotions and perceptions I have had access to as a black person and as a female person are greater than those of people who are neither.... So it seems to me that my world did not shrink because I was a black female writer. It just got bigger.

"When I write, I don't translate for white readers.... Dostoevski wrote for a Russian audience, but we're able to read him. If I'm specific, and I don't over-explain, then anyone can overhear me."

Desmond Tutu

(from "Why, as Christians, We Must Oppose Racism," December 6th, 1994)

"Racism postulates that human beings from different races are ultimately irreconcilable, that humanity is inexorably divided up into fiercely hostile ethnic camps and the best thing to contain the inevitable ethnic conflict that will result is to keep the racial groups apart.

"It has been observed that monotheism logically demands the recognition that all are ultimately the children of the one God and therefore form one family. What other conclusion can flow from the fact that we say, 'Our Father'?

"Racism attacks the foundations of the biblical faith and the heart of Christianity. For that reason it is unbiblical, immoral, and unchristian."

Lyrics from Kanye West

Jesus Walks, by Kanye West (Source: http://www.sing365.com)
Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is a six-time Grammy Award-winning American producer/rapper. (from Wikepedia.com)

We at war
We at war with terrorism, racism, and most of all we at war with ourselves
(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me) with me with me with me [fades]

You know what the Midwest is?
Young & Restless
Where restless Niggaz might snatch your necklace
And next these Niggaz might jack your Lexus
Somebody tell these Niggaz who Kanye West is
I walk through the valley where the shadow of death is
Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless Uhhhh!
Try to catch it Uhhhh! It's kinda hard hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method
They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying "we eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast"
Huh? Yall eat pieces of shit? What's the basis?
We ain't going nowhere but got suits and cases
A trunk full of coke rental car from Avis
My momma used to say only Jesus can save us
Well momma I know I act a fool
But I'll be gone til November I got packs to move I Hope

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that I pray is that me feet don't fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don't think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that I pray is that me feet don't fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don't think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long

To the hustlas, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
To the victims of Welfare for we living in hell here hell yeah
Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know he hear me when my feet get weary
Cuz we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models we rap we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that's the way I need Jesus
So here go my single dog radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won't get played Huh?
Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I'm dreaming about
Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that I pray is that me feet don't fail me now

Children's Books on Prejudice and Anti-Racism

  • Loudmouth George and the New Neighbors, by Nancy L. Carlson
  • Henry and the Kite Dragon, by Bruce Edward Hall
  • Skin Again, by Bell Hooks
  • Best of All, by Max Lucado
  • A Benjamin and The Word / Benjamin y la Palabra, by Daniel Olivas
  • Aekyung's Dream, by Min Paek
  • Muskrat Will Be Swimming, by Cheryl Savageau
  • Napi, by Antonio Ramirez
  • Frog and the Stranger, by Max Velthuijs
  • Bat 6, by Virginia Euwer Wolff