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May Gabriel’s Horn| May 24 Weekly Newsletter

Invitation to Join Anti-Racism Task Force

Invitation to Join the Anti-Racism Task Force

Please consider joining the anti-racism task force and its important work.

For 2016 the Church Council set anti-racism as one of three high-priority goals for First Congregational UCC: That the congregation engage in a process to (1) identify “what a truly inclusive and diversity-affirming church looks like” and (2) take concrete steps toward being an increasingly anti-racist and multi-cultural/multi-racial congregation.”  Setting this goal followed (1) work in the 1990s and 2000s on becoming a multi-cultural/multi-racial church; (2) incidents since 2014 reminding us how far this country needs to go; and (3) the long history of First Church’s commitment to racial justice, of which our 150th anniversary celebration reminded us.

Since early 2016 an anti-racism task force (co-convened by Lucille Dickinson and James Ross) has developed a working statement on anti-racism at First Church, sponsored events (e.g., showings of the documentary 13th about the 13th amendment to the constitution), initiated in-depth discussions (such as the two six-week sessions, in mid-2017 and early 2018, reflecting on white privilege using the UCC curriculum), and established a lending library.  The task force is an adjunct to the Social Action and Awareness Commission, and it reports to SAAC on a regular monthly basis and to Council periodically.  The current statement on anti-racism at First Church in its entirety is included in the 2017 annual report.  In September 2017 the Council enthusiastically endorsed the work articulated in the paper.

The task force started small in 2016 and grew a bit in 2017 and again this year.  We want to extend an invitation to all who would like to join the task force and this important work.  If you are interested, please contact Lucille Dickinson (lucilledickinson@aol.com), Priscilla Waters, chair of SAAC (pwaters415@aol.com), or James Ross, Minister of Justice Formation (jamesdrossii@gmail.com).

Current members: Lucille Dickinson, James Ross, Priscilla Waters, Karen Byrne, Susie Hayward, Andrew Hamilton, Nancy Withbroe, Janneke Ratcliffe, Jo-Anne Henry