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Viewing entries posted in June 2015
By now most of you have heard about the horrific event that took place at Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina. On Wednesday evening a white male attended a bible study at the church. After an hour or so he began shooting attendees. Nine believers lost their lives including the pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney. This is yet another example of how racism still exists in our society. Racism as displayed by this demented young man is a rarity. However, by no means is racism extinct. It is alive and well and seen mostly in the fabric of American systems more so than in individual acts. One clear example of this is in red lining, where minority communities are targeted by insurers and denied loans and insurance based on where they live. Racism can be seen in the very way we fund school districts in America. If schools are funded by property taxes then it stands to reason that poor/minority communities will receive fewer dollars than middle income communities. It certainly doesn't seem fair to the children. I could go on and on talking about systemic racism. The only way to begin healing and eliminating racism is to actually talk about it. One thing that I've noticed is that whites and black don't talk about racism together in a respectful and dignified manner. It appears the only time it comes up is when something like the shooting in Charleston takes place. It's time to stop ignoring the elephant in the room and let's talk!
Over the weekend I, along with several United Methodists from around the state of Missouri, spent time conferring in Springfield. Every year each Conference of the United Methodist Church gathers to meet and discuss and approve the budget, policies, and receive reports from conference sponsored agencies. Every four years we elect laity and clergy to serve as delegates to General Conference, which is the gathering of United Methodists from around the world. It is the responsibility of the General Conference to form the policies, procedures, and doctrinal standards for the next four years. In 2016 the General Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon for 12 days. The biggest issue at hand is the Church's stance on human sexuality. There are people on both sides: some who believe that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Others believe that homosexuality is just as much Christian as heterosexuality. The debate has gotten so heated that there is talk of an amicable split. I'm not sure what is going to happen but my prayer is that above and beyond anything else God's will be done. Please pray for the United Methodist Church.