13 November 2018

So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself.[a]He created them male and female. Genesis 1:27


Dear Friends, 

       Recently, our United Methodist Council of Bishops have released a statement decrying the surge in violent hate crimes within our country. In their discussions, the Bishops have stated that we all need to do more to stem the tide of such hateful actions. "We pledge to hold United Methodists, particularly those in the United States, accountable to engage in education around white supremacy, white privilege and internalized racism,” the bishops’ statement said. “We recognize that until our Anglo brothers and sisters are free of their racism and acknowledge their white privilege, none of us will be free.” 

   I am heartened to note that many among us in our Northern Maine District stopped to pray at noon last Sunday. Many gathered with their community to grieve, to remember and to pledge that we are all one in God's eyes; male and female, Jew and non Jew, black and white. Today, we are called upon to do more. As we reach out to the "other" among us in acts of love and charity, we also need to engage in discussions, bible studies, and worship around the theme of white privilege and internalized racism. 

     Friends, this is challenging work. These conversations are never easy. Confronting our own bias and pledging to grow in our understanding is difficult, however, this is an important step in changing our churches and our society. We cannot afford to wait. We cannot allow one more person to be discriminated against, to be the victim of some other act of violent hatred. 

   Two years ago, Rev. Tracy Reeves, Rev. Arlene Tully and Rev. David Nicol invited the churches and communities they served into a series of educational discussions around this issue. I am sure they would be happy to share their resources. The Bishops will also be producing new resources for us to utilize. My prayer is that all of our churches will engage in this important ministry. We can make the positive difference that is needed to bring God's Kingdom here in our country. May God bless us as we strive to be more like God, Jackie

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