People of goodwill all over this world must be wondering if people in these United States of America really care about the issue of Racial Justice/Injustice, as they observe the latest news of the current unrest in our nation. Personally, I find it difficult to speak about racial justice without considering my observance of racial injustice in the US context.
I know for a fact that, since its founding, the Moderator and Council of Elders of MCC have expressed a righteous concern for racial justice (and gender equality) right alongside their concern for LGBT equality, and that we continue to strive for greater and greater inclusion and welcome of all people into God’s Commonwealth of Divine Love and acceptance. MCC has a Divine Mandate from Jesus (which we take seriously) to welcome, love, include, and serve all God’s children, with a special emphasis and outreach to those who have been excluded by others.
MCC has a Divine Mandate from Jesus (which we take seriously) to welcome, love, include, and serve all God’s children, with a special emphasis and outreach to those who have been excluded by others.
Historically, our welcome has been focused on sexual/gender minorities – lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual (now, queer, intersex, questioning, and heterosexual supporters). However, we have always been aware of racial minorities within these sexual minorities. As more peoples of colors found their/our way into MCC, we created dialogue early on about how these racial minorities might be more fully integrated into the leadership of MCC. Over the years these discussions led to the formation of a Department of People of Color and a parallel group called, White People Healing Racism. Both groups had lay and clergy participants, and their work focused on helping all of us in MCC become more sensitive to our own racial attitudes and those expressed by people in our congregations.
While these efforts to “heal racism” within and without were met with some resistance by certain individuals in our various congregations, there has been steady and determined progress toward giving more than lip-service to the principles of Jesus when it comes to loving and making welcome those who are different from oneself. We have done fairly well, when it comes to providing space for peoples of color to gather and feel good about themselves by creating culturally relevant worship, (People of African Descent Conferences, and Affinity groups for Asian/Pacific Islanders, various Spanish Language groups, and small groups of those seeking to reclaim their Native American/Indigenous roots). So, my answer to the question posed to me here is clearly, YES, MCC does care about Racial Justice.
On the other hand, we have not done so well with helping to create social changes which address systemic racism in the structures of our country or nations around the world. It is true that our very existence as MCC is a challenge to the status-quo wherever we show up, but our actions everywhere must match our message of Radical Welcome and Inclusion, Mutual Respect and acceptance, and loving supportive service to those considered “the least of these” among us anywhere.
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Rev. Carolyn J. Mobley-Bowie is the Minister of Music for the Breath of Life Spiritual Center MCC (Saginaw, Michigan, USA)