The Eastern PA Conference Commission on Religion and Race strives to further the UMC General Commission’s mission and vision in our region and context. We see the creation of learning opportunities, the dissemination of resources and the communication of continued dialogues, trainings and workshops, sponsored by other entities throughout the conference, as the scope of our work.
Real talk about race is happening around much of the Eastern PA Conference this winter, as dialogues and teaching moments bring people together to explore a difficult but timely topic. And we’ve only just begun.
The Central, Southeast and East districts each have sponsored recent teach and talk events addressing race and racism. The Central District held a Real Talk about Racism event Dec. 3 at First UMC Phoenixville for about 40 people. Participants committed to taking action-oriented “next steps” both personally and with their congregations. Read more
At our request, a number of clergy participants in recent racial dialogue and learning events, sponsored by four districts, kindly shared their reactions and reflections with us. They answered several questions, and we collected and combined each of their answers into single, sometimes lengthy comments with minimal editing.
Their candid statements reveal an acknowledgement, for most, of the value and necessity of these face-to-face discussions, especially those that have the benefit of being interracial. Indeed, they are not a panacea for our society’s pervasive racism, ignorance and bigotry, nor the other prisons of the heart that keep us bound. But the gracious offering and acceptance of honest impressions, confessions and helpful truths, although they may be difficult to share, can still, in the end, “set the captives free.” Read more
Conversations on Racial Justice
Southwest District Voices for Racial Justice
Lay and clergy members meet regularly in various district churches to engage in guided interracial dialogue and discovery about race, racism, racial justice and race relations. Open to all, including people of other districts. Come join us! For more information or to kindly let us know you’re coming, please contact the Rev. Jason Perkowski at email@example.com or (717) 333-9238.
UM Church of the Open Door Conversations on Race
(210 S. Broad St, Kennett Square, PA) participates in and often hosts periodic Conversations on Race in the Kennett Square Area, sponsored by its I.S.M.S. (Inclusive Social Ministry for Solidarity) ministry. Some of those conversations involve reactions to TED Talks on topics of race and culture. These are opportunities for people to gather and develop relationships of trust, have conversations about topics that matter, and seek means of changing ‘what is’ to ‘what should be’. Locations may vary. Visit the I.S.M.S. webpage or the I.S.M.S Facebook page.
Changing Racism Events
Changing Racism Workshops 2017
March 31-April 2 and Oct. 27-29. Daylesford Abbey, 220 South Valley Road, Paoli, PA. Facilitated by Visions, Inc.