Thursday, June 11, 2020

AMD's Vows to Racial Justice

A Covenantal Letter by The United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities

To our black, indigenous, and siblings of color in Christ, with whom we partner in ministry:

The following covenantal letter from The United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities (AMD) comes from a place of grace that we pray inspires action across our denomination. We hope it will be received in this spirit.

The United States was built upon the backs of people of color who were slaves. Racism and racial injustices continue to be perpetuated by our denomination. For far too long, black, indigenous, and people of color have faced racism and discrimination. We acknowledge that racism has manifested through white privilege, complicity, neglect, oppression of others, and other forms of evil. We deeply regret the sins of the past and present and repent. AMD is committed to social justice and recognizes the need for commitment to racial justice because we feel both are vital.
The global call to support racial justice because of the killing of unarmed black people is spreading throughout the denomination, including by AMD. As a caucus of The United Methodist Church, members have seen injustices at all levels of the church and in society for far too long. While white privilege and individual racism are part of the problem, ending systemic racism is how we can create lasting change for the church and how we can love like Christ.

AMD also recognizes how racism intersects with discrimination against persons with disabilities, in that black, indigenous, and people of color with disabilities are much more likely to experience oppression, police brutality, sexual harassment, inequities, and poverty than white people with disabilities.

As a disability caucus, we publicly commit to racial justice and to social justice. We acknowledge that we have previously failed in the fight for racial justice, and we repent of this. AMD is making a covenant with its constituents -- people with disabilities, advocates, caregivers, ministers, others, and the wider church -- to include racial justice in our work of social justice.  We believe that God provides us with the grace of Jesus Christ to make the kin-dom a reality.

Our covenant is to the following:

  • We vow to identify and dismantle white privilege and racism in our own minds, hearts, words, and actions. We will offer our caucus members training and resources.
  • We vow to name and address racism and white privilege as a part of our caucus work. 
  • We vow to work more closely in our collaborative work with racial and ethnic caucuses of The United Methodist Church.
  • We vow to advocate for changes to policies and structures of the church that have been perpetuated by systemic racism.
  • We vow to pray with action where the Lord guides us with various gifts and work for social justice AND racial justice. 

Yours in Christ,
Association of Ministers with Disabilities
Executive Team

The United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities is a recognized caucus of the United Methodist Church and is ecumenical in membership. Visit the Association's website or Facebook page.

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