The United Church of Christ (UCC) and Cleveland Park Congregational UCC are committed to racial justice for all. We focus our social action efforts around six goals, including racial justice. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers served as a catalyst to renew our commitment to the vast work needed to build a stronger faith-based movement for peace, justice, equality and inclusivity. Doing justice, seeking peace and building community are central to the identity of the UCC and our congregation.
We believe, as the UCC Minister for Racial Justice writes,
Racism has no place in our world. Racism must never be taught as a Biblical principle because God did not create superior people groups and cultures. Racism should never be tolerated in worship spaces, preached from pulpits, allowed in communities, or supported by local, state, and national government leaders.
When our church or another church claims that “Black Lives Matter,” it chooses to show up against all given societal values of supremacy and superiority or complacency. By insisting on the intrinsic worth of all human beings, Jesus models for us how God loves justly, and how his disciples can love publicly in a world of inequality. We live out the love of God by publicly saying #BlackLivesMatter. Read more on the UCC’s Why “Black Lives Matter page.
Continually expanding our own perspectives is one small step we can all take to serve the cause of restoring God’s justice. This work, through reading, listening, viewing, and learning, is necessary as the country, and each of us, reckons with long-standing, unjust systems and institutions. Since the summer of 2020,congregation members have met regularly to discuss racial justice issues, hosted book discussions and other programs, and held weekly summer rallies in front of the church.
Last year, we engaged in a racial justice audit that included all groups, committees and members of our congregation. The results of this audit will help us clarify the work we need to do and inform our upcoming strategic plan.
For more resources to help expand your own perspectives, you may wish to consider:
- SURJ-DC (Stand Up for Racial Justice – DC) page for Learning, Action, & Healing Resources
- DC Public Library Resources About Race for All Ages That Belong on Every Reading List
- TED video playlist Talks to help you understand racism in America
- NPR Opinion Piece This List Of Books, Films And Podcasts About Racism Is A Start, Not A Panacea
- Harvard University Racial Justice, Racial Equity, and Anti-Racism Reading List