In 2020, many in our congregation (and our nation) recoiled from witnessing the evidence of social injustice in the U.S. In response, the St. Mark’s Adult Spiritual Growth team offered a season of learning about racism, equity and justice with three studies that fall: “White Fragility,” a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge and “Be the Bridge.” Following these studies, those who felt called to do more formed a Racial Equity Task Force. Its purpose was to provide a plan and lay the groundwork for change in ourselves, our church and our community. It started by creating a vision and mission statement for St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s is a beacon of racial justice and compassion.
To open our hearts and minds to listen, learn and take actions to foster racial justice and social equity.
Our initial focus as a church is deepening our understanding through education.
- Current classes available: Click here.
- We created a list of racial equity resources for personal learning. It includes historical timelines and current issues, including a local Tucson focus and personal stories. Please take a look. Click here.
Statement on Racial Justice from the United Methodist Church Constitution (Article V):
The United Methodist Church proclaims the value of each person as a unique child of God and commits itself to the healing and wholeness of all persons. The United Methodist Church recognizes that the sin of racism has been destructive to its unity throughout its history. Racism continues to cause painful division and marginalization. The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate racism, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large. The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten the cause of racial justice at all times and in all places.
Task force conclusion and additional resources
- The task force concluded its work with a presentation to the St. Mark’s Covenant Council on Aug. 17, 2021. Click here to view the presentation.
- The presentation included a Racial Justice Plan with suggestions for many of the church’s committees. Click here to view the plan.
- Church committees will carry on this work and assign a racial equity advocate to report on the committee’s work at a quarterly Racial Equity Advocates meeting. Members of this team will continue writing articles for the Messenger newsletter and identifying quotes for the pastor’s weekly email highlighting different cultures in the U.S. In addition, advocates will contribute racial justice concerns to the monthly churchwide prayer list.
- We will use a Church Diversity Audit/Self-Assessment Tool to conduct an annual audit of our progress toward diversity and racial equity: Click here.
Please note that the racial equity resources, Racial Justice Plan and Church Diversity Audit are living documents that will be reviewed and/or updated on a regular basis. If you have recommendations for corrections or additions, please forward the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.