Jun 17, 2021 | By John W. Coleman

The Eastern PA Conference Commission on Religion & Race (CORR) has launched a timely new Facebook Group page aptly titled Dismantling RacismIt’s timely because it launches on the day that the U.S. Congress and President Joe Biden joyfully approved Juneteenth, June 19, also long known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, as a national holiday.

June 19 was the day in 1865 when freed slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free—two months after the Civil War officially ended and two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in Southern states.

CORR has been planning to launch the Facebook group for several months; and now members are busy posting information, events, comments and resources to the new page. They are also inviting friends and colleagues to join who resonate with the anti-racism values and interests it communicates.

The United Methodist Church launched its unprecedented Dismantling Racism campaign in 2020, led by the Council of Bishops and denominational agencies. Numerous conferences are waging the campaign as well in their ministries, policies and practices, communications and other arenas. But the Eastern PA Conference increased concentration of its efforts in this area of concern after the 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference when all the NEJ bishops and annual conferences voted to support a quadrennial Call to Action initiative.

CORR’s conference Connectional Ministry partners will assist in developing, updating and monitoring the page’s content. Those partners include members of: NEWSpirit Communications staff; the Healing the Wounds of Racism Core Team; Whites Confronting Racism; and Fight for Floyd & Beyond Committees. Their hope is that churches, groups and individuals throughout the conference will also join them in creating a robust, diverse, dynamic online community that seeks to dismantle the stubborn sin of racism in our church and society.

Here is the page’s “About” purpose statement:

United Methodists in the Eastern PA Conference are “United in Christ and Committed to Transformation,” as they seek to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” Through this commitment Christ calls us to seek the dismantling of racism as a sin and scourge on our church and society. We seek an end to both interpersonal and institutional racism. That goal requires broader and deeper awareness of its causes and consequences, and then advocacy and other affirmative actions to help abolish it.

The Eastern PA Conference Commission on Religion and Race created and operates this Facebook Group page, with the help of its ministry partners, to foster that awareness and advocacy by our mutual sharing of information and insights about ways to understand and dismantle racism. We say “Dismantling Racism” because we understand that the various systems and structures that undergird and propagate this sinful, stubborn impulse and practice must be deliberately disassembled with great care over time.

We invite all members of this Facebook Group to share helpful news and views, important events, recommended multi-media resources, and profiles of United Methodist leaders, groups and congregations that are actively seeking to dismantle racism in their churches, communities and beyond. All content shared should be directly relevant to our focus on understanding race and dismantling racism; but our strong preference is for content that relates to our Christian faith and resonates with our United Methodist doctrine and discipline.