Petition 80151

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Act of Repentance for Racism (80151-IC-R162)

Replace existing Resolution #162, Act of Repentance for Racism, with the following resolution:

ACT OF REPENTANCE FOR RACISM
  
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.--(Galatians 3:28)
  
WHEREAS, the Constitution of The United Methodist Church in Article IV mandates racial inclusiveness; and
  
WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor organizations in years past have participated, as institutions, in acts which have perpetuated the sin of racism, which continues to be a barrier to Christian unity; and
  
WHEREAS, at this time, The United Methodist Church is involved in conversations of the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union, which has helped bring to the forefront of consciousness the particular acts of racism which led to the formation of the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal denominations, and also the formation of the Central Jurisdiction within The United Methodist Church; and
  
WHEREAS, there is a need among United Methodists for education concerning the church's past history, especially in the areas of African American race relations; and
  
WHEREAS, the Commission on Union and the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation affirm United Methodist efforts toward repentance for past and present sins of racism; and
  
WHEREAS, the Council of Bishops has joined the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns in preparation for a liturgical act of repentance for racism; and
  
WHEREAS, confession and repentance for racism is but a first step toward the changing of hearts leading to healing and wholeness;
  
Therefore, be it resolved, General Conference adopts Steps Toward Wholeness: Learning and Repentance, a study guide which addresses the church's role in racism, concluding with a call for repentance; and requests all local congregations in the United States to engage in study sessions using Steps Toward Wholeness. All annual conferences are also requested to engage in training, liturgies, and other acts to demonstrate ongoing repentance for racism and bigotry.