Bothell United Methodist Church’s welcome statement affirms that God’s grace and peace are freely given to everyone, and yet there are places in our country, our communities, and even our own church, where people do not experience this in their daily lives. This has been made more known in recent days with the killing of Black individuals – Manuel Ellis, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks – and many more in the long history of brutal and inhumane treatment of Black people in the United States. We lament these deaths and condemn these killings, simply declaring that Black Lives Matter.
Systemic violence against Black and Indigenous communities has been deeply rooted for centuries on this land and in this nation, and every institution is complicit in upholding violent systems, even Bothell United Methodist Church. We, both individually and collectively as members of Governing Board of the church, pray for the day that no statements like this need to be made, and until then, we…
- Confess our complicity in racist systems and name our own racism and biases–both those we are aware of and those that are so ingrained in our traditions and relationships as to make them invisible to ourselves;
- Confess that we have not loved our neighbors with our whole hearts; and
- Vow to uphold our United Methodist baptismal vows to renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin.
Additionally, as the Governing Board of Bothell United Methodist Church, tasked with listening to the movement of the Spirit and leading our community, we commit to…
- Learning together by reading anti-racism resources that have been amplified by local Black activists. We will start by reading So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo and discussing its contents at our regular meetings;
- Leading our congregation in the hard work of understanding and identifying bias, prejudice and racism through shared learning and witnessing;
- Establishing a task force to focus on these issues and lead us in further exploration of the ways we are flawed and of how we can move forward.
- Internally examining white supremacy and anti-blackness in our own thoughts and actions by determining specific ways we have been complicit in these sins, both individually and as a church;
- Dismantling white supremacy, racism, and bias in all their forms, within the purpose, vision and practices of our church.
We will keep striving for the day when Bothell United Methodist Church will do no harm while doing all the good we can. May God strengthen us on our journey as we move towards justice and love in our church, our community and beyond.
Adopted 25 June 2020