Act of Repentance for Racism

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
     (Galatians 3:28)

WHEREAS, the Constitution of The United Methodist Church in Article IV mandates racial inclusiveness; and

WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor organizations in years past have participated, as institutions, in acts which have perpetuated the sin of racism, which continues to be a barrier to Christian unity; and

WHEREAS, at this time, The United Methodist Church is involved in conversations of the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and the Commission on Union, which has helped bring to the forefront of consciousness the particular acts of racism which led to the formation of the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal denominations, and also the formation of the Central Jurisdiction within The United Methodist Church; and

WHEREAS, there is a need among United Methodists for education concerning the church's past history, especially in the areas of African-American race relations; and

WHEREAS, the Commission on Union and the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation affirm United Methodist efforts toward repentance for past and present sins of racism; and

WHEREAS, the Council of Bishops has joined the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns in preparation for a liturgical act of repentance for racism; and

WHEREAS, confession and repentance for racism is but a first step toward the changing of hearts leading to healing and wholeness;

Therefore, be it resolved, General Conference adopts Steps Toward Wholeness: Learning and Repentance, a study guide which addresses the church's role in racism, concluding with a call for repentance; and requests all local congregations in the United States to engage in study sessions using Steps Toward Wholeness. All annual conferences are also requested to engage in a liturgical act of repentance in 2001.


See Social Principles, 162A.

From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2004. Copyright 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

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