We, the staff of Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ, welcome you to this resource entitled “A New Church/A New World”. It is our hope that this will be a beginning step for your local church in examining the forces of racism at work in your setting. Your participation in this project is vitally important so together we can confront the sin of racism and join in promise to actively work to build A New Church in A New World.
It is recommended that your local church, first, make a vow to the process of study and action regarding race matters; second, select leaders for additional training; third, implement the use of this resource first with committee members and leaders within the local church who can then help to recruit other participants. This study can be offered repeatedly to additional participants so that the circle of persons within the local church and community who are dedicated to counteracting racism continues to grow and expand.
In the 1990‘s, this project began as part of the ongoing work of the United Church of Christ in fulfilling its commitment to faithfully become a multiracial and multicultural church and is to be seen in a larger context of continuing study and action. This resource serves as a springboard for a local community’s journey in confronting racism.
Yet within the new millennium, the US church has undergone multiple shifting realities as it pertains to fully embracing the depths of experience surrounding race and racism. Nevertheless a pledge to push through the multiple degrees of resistance a multiracial, multicultural setting will endure can begin with the actions of a core group, and to that end, we offer this tool. Moreover, it is expected that the leadership within your church will have made the commitment to address multicultural/diversity issues and that using this resource will be one step in that process toward becoming culturally proficient.
Importantly, no one resource can address all possible audiences. The primary target audience for this resource is the European American membership of the United Church of Christ.