I grew up in Houston, Texas with great memories of Juneteenth celebrations. It is an official state holiday commemorating the day that word finally reached the slaves in Texas that the Civil War was over and that all enslaved men, women, and children were free, some 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Our celebrations in Houston were always filled with challenges to continue to make progress in the fight for racial justice and equality.
These past few weeks have been a poignant and painful reminder that our work remains undone. Racism, white supremacy, bigotry, and hate are still alive in our world. Discipleship Ministries is involved in the multi-level effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice across our connection. This effort begins with “A Service of Lament” on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 (watch the video below). The entire effort was announced by United Methodist Bishops and you can learn more about these efforts at UMC.org/EndRacism.
My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger. Our resolve must be different. This is our time to reimagine what racial equality really looks like in practice. Juneteenth seems like a pretty good day to start and to “press on” to freedom.
Rev. Junius B. Dotson is the General Secretary (chief executive officer) of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church.
For a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism, click here.
Our resolve must be different. My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.