TPPC Racial Justice and Peace Page

The front entrance of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church with Blank Lives Matter banner TPPC has had a Peacemaking Committee that advocates for peace within our congregation, demonination and world, as well as a project to promote committed racial mindfulness in our church and community.

Currently, there is a Racial Justice Ministry which deals with ongoing issues of racism and white priviledge in our society. You are warmly invited to join in the group's discussions. The Racial Justice Ministry holds special discussions and Sunday School classes on a periodic basis. Please see the church calendar for upcoming events.

The TPPC Racial Justice Ministry is featured in an NCP Mission Highlights Video at http://www.thepresbytery.org/mission-highlights/Mission-Highlights-Videos (the video itself can be viewed at https://youtu.be/x4h_-kHNiHs).

More about our Racial Justice Ministry can be accessed here.

More about TPPC's Resolution of Committed Racial Mindfulness (PDF, May 2015) be found here.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2018

TPPC has a history of participating in Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD2018). This year's theme is A World Uprooted: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2018 will focus on the uprootedness of our world, an will analyze current policy and envision ways to more fully and justly respond to the global and local needs of displaced communities. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking, EAD2018 seeks policy changes that advance hope and overcome the devastating impacts of conflict, climate change and corruption on Godís people.

Registration (via EventBrite) is available now. For more information, access the EAD2018 website; a conference brochure is also available.

Racial Justice Update

This was originally published in Church life, and is used with the permission of the author.

One of the joys of being a part of the Racial Justice Ministry is getting to know others in the congregation and building the trust to share with each other, not only our joys and sorrows, but also deep hurts. Additionally, I've become much more consciously aware of how much I personally have benefited from slavery and the ongoing ways that my race has treated other races since then. Although I can never fully walk in another's shoes, I have learned that I can take my own experiences of how I am treated when I am part of a group (e.g. being a woman) that is considered less than and use that to better understand and empathize with those hurts. Bit by bit I'm increasing my confidence and gaining courage to speak out when I see an injustice. At the same time, I'm consciously speaking less and actively encouraging others to express their views at meetings.

I invite you to join me, whether or not you've participated to date, to come give your input on the draft covenant statement on racism and brainstorm with us about what actions we will take this year, both within our church and in the larger community. How can we use the healing and reconciliation process we're undertaking as a congregation to work to dismantle any policies, patterns, traditions of white supremacy in our midst? Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, February 3rd from 9AM to 1PM.

Ruth Noel for the Racial Justice Ministry

TPPC'a Racial Justice Ministry

Racism is historically and powerfully embedded in our society. It is entrenched in our institutions, systems, interactions and mentalities. Historic and ongoing racism continue to justify and perpetuate inequality.

Racism is contrary to the Will of God and the Teachings of Jesus.

Racism is subversive to Christian faith and divisive in the Church.

We are called by Jesus to promote compassion, peace and social justice, to actively witness against discrimination, suffering, pain and injustices. We believe that we can help shape a future to overcome racism.

The Guiding Principles of the Racial Justice Ministry are:

TPPC has taken a stand on racism by:

We believe the Church is called by God to be a witness to love, justice, peace and to walk humbly. We are committed to address racial injustice.

We invite you to attend our meetings and events

Resolution of Committed Racial Mindfulness

A Resolution of Committed Racial Mindfulness was adopted by our Session at its May meeting. The resolution grew out of discussions by a small group of TPPC members and friends who have been meeting to discuss how our church can respond to pervasive racism in our country. Our concerns were sparked by recent killings of African American men by law enforcement officers in Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, and elsewhere. These matters reflect how deeply white privilege and racial prejudice is embedded in our society and communities.

To read the resolution, access 2015-05_TPPC_Resolution_of_Committed_Racial_Mindfulness.pdf (PDF).

The resolution commits our church to undertake a program of "committed racial mindfulness" to raise our knowledge and understanding about racism and its effects, heighten our commitment and capability to oppose racism, and make us more effective messengers of conscientious racial mindfulness in our communities. The centerpiece of the Resolution is a commitment to develop and implement a program for training in committed racial mindfulness. The program would start by training leaders in our congregation and other churches, and then widen to include other members of our congregation, other congregations, and community groups.

Our Denomination's Vision on Racial Justice

Please read this denomination wide statement that is guiding the PCUSA's anti-racism efforts: "Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community,"† approval by the General Assembly (2016): www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/racialjustice/new_2016_antiracism_policy.pdf.

Also, PCUSA leadership responds to the shootings in Dallas and the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Hard Conversations

The Racial Justice Ministry encourages participation in an online course that some of us have taken and highly recommend -- "Hard Conversations Ė an Introduction to Racism, Unconscious Racism, and Silent Racism."

Check http://www.37days.com/racism/. Please let us know if you sign up for this course, so we can see whether it is possible to have some group discussions within our church.