ELKHART, Ind., Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mennonite Church USA — Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), a historic peace church that actively practices biblically-based peace, justice and nonresistance, has issued a call to white people to engage in anti-racism work in the United States and across the world. In an open letter to the denomination, Michael Danner, MC USA’s associate executive director of Church Vitality, invites his fellow white Christians to «engage in proactive, deliberate efforts to oppose and dismantle racism in all of its forms.»
Danner’s letter examines Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation across racial division as central to the work of being God’s people – and separate from political agendas and «popular notions of social justice.» Acknowledging that anti-racism work must occur on an individual and systemic basis, Danner urges white people to specifically take responsibility for examining their own biases, learning to recognize systemic racism and working as people of faith to ensure racial justice.
«Our denomination’s position against racism isn’t new,» said Glen Guyton, MC USA’s first African American executive director and one of its anti-racism trainers. «As a denomination, country and global community, we must move beyond making statements to long-term actions that yield positive results.»
Danner’s letter is a follow up to the denomination’s webinar series, Race, Church & Change. Led by a diverse team of church leaders and centering the voices of people of color, the series addressed questions, including «What role does racial healing and reconciliation play in being anti-racist?» «How do we begin a conversation about white supremacy?» and «What would it look like for congregations to practice racial reparations?»
MC USA also launched an anti-racism resource section within its new website today. The resource portal is designed to meet people where they are in their anti-racism journey.
Danner’s letter joins the voices of other Mennonites who are contributing to an ongoing blog series on the denomination’s website on what it means to do the work of anti-racism, recognize injustice and protest against it.
The denomination also recently launched a Justice Fund to «provide a way for individuals and congregations to support MC USA churches that are actively involved in dismantling racism, addressing police brutality, reimagining policing in our society or combating poverty.»
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members.
Editorial Contact: Wil LaVeist, Chief Communication Officer, Mennonite Church USA, WilL@MennoniteMission.net, (574) 523-3077
SOURCE Mennonite Church USA