What We Believe
Although we believe that God is found in our common diversity, the sin of racism is present in our society and in our church. The United Church is committed to becoming an anti-racist church through a continuous struggle against racism. “Change is possible. We believe in forgiveness, reconciliation, and transformation and the potential to learn from stories and experiences.” (That All May Be One, 2000)
Our commitment to racial justice includes building right relationships with our neighbours, particularly reconciliation between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples. It means engaging in interfaith dialogue and speaking out against violence and discrimination rooted in racial and religious bigotry, including Islamophobia and antisemitism. It finds expression in our intercultural vision. And it means having the courage to talk about racism and White privilege in our church and in our society.
As Moderator Jordan Cantwell put it in her March 2017 letter, “We need to name and examine our fears, prejudices, and assumptions. The privilege that many of us are born with may desensitize us to the injustice, exclusion, and hate that some in our community experience on a daily basis.” Only in that way can we build, as “That All May Be One” envisioned, a church and society “where all are welcome, where all feel welcome, and where diversity is as natural as breathing.”
What You Can Do
UN International Decade for People of African Descent
The United Church of Canada and the United Church of Christ (USA) are jointly participating in the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (2015–2024). This decade is an occasion to
- work together with people of African descent around the world in a spirit of recognition, justice, and continuous development
- acknowledge the profound contribution made by people of African descent to the economic, political, social, cultural and spiritual fabric of our communities, societies, and countries
- implement concrete measures to promote their full inclusion and to combat racism, xenophobia, and intolerance
Learn more in the article “Two Churches Are Better Than One,” under Downloads, below, from the Winter 2018 edition of Mandate.
Participate in an October 1, 2018, webinar presented in partnership with the World Council of Churches: Anti-Black Racism and Afrophobia in the Canadian Context.
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21)
- Worship resources on intercultural themes
- Black History Month (February); Asian Heritage Month (May)
Reflection and Learning: United Church
- United Church Policy: “That All May Be One” (2000), anti-racism policy; That We May Know Each Other: United Church–Muslim Relations Today (2006); Bearing Faithful Witness: United Church–Jewish Relations Today (2003); Mending the World: An Ecumenical Vision for Healing and Reconciliation (1997)
- Racial Justice Training: the United Church online workshop, and related resources and links
- United Church work on reconciliation and Indigenous justice, interfaith relations, and interculturalism
- Building Inclusive Communities: pre-recorded webinar on challenging Islamophobia and offering welcome to refugees
- Explore the news feed below, and the resources under Downloads.
Reflection and Learning: Ecumenical
- World Council of Churches, Being church and overcoming racism: It's time for transformative justice
- Canadian Council of Churches, Cracking Open White Identity Towards Transformation: Canadian Ecumenical Anti-Racism Network Examines White Identity, Power and Privilege (excerpts and ordering info)
- Canadian Churches’ Forum program, Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry
The Work of Our Partners
- United Church of Christ (USA): resources on racial harmony and justice; Sacred Conversations on Race; White Privilege: Let’s Talk: A resource for transformational dialogue
- Student Christian Movement: the Student Christian Movement (SCM) of Canada, a member of the World Student Christian Federation, promotes “radical faith in action” and “community in diversity”
- PROCMURA: the Programme for Christian–Muslim Relations in Africa seeks faithful witness and constructive engagement for peace between Christians and Muslims
For more information, please contact: