Global Ministries/DOM Indianapolis office Anti-racism/Pro-Reconciling Covenant Statement
Division of Overseas Ministries/Global Ministries
Anti-racism/Pro-Reconciling Covenant Statement
I. SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATIONS
18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Resolution No. 9926, Report on the Process of Discernment on Racism, “. . . approved the formation of a church-wide process to discern the nature of racism.” As members of the Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM)/Global Ministries, we covenant together to be an anti-racist/pro-reconciling General Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As we define racism as “racial prejudice plus systemic power,” we acknowledge that this commitment encompasses our personal attitudes and actions, as well as the visible and invisible systems under which DOM/Global Ministries corporately operates on a day-to-day basis.
Because God has called us as members of DOM/Global Ministries to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in being and sharing Good News of the liberating power of God’s love with all peoples, and in particular the poor, oppressed, voiceless, and powerless [Luke 4:18-19], we commit ourselves afresh to a ministry of liberation and empowerment as we walk with our international partners around the world in various modes of critical presence. At the same time, we recognize that we are also in dire need of hearing and receiving, in our context, this same Good News from our international partners. Particularly in the whole area of racism, we have much to learn from those who have gone before us around the world in this struggle, as we seek the liberating power of Jesus from the bonds of racism that consciously or unconsciously entangle us.
In order to make progress toward being an anti-racist/pro-reconciling General Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we feel the need to affirm the core covenantal values, which will under-gird and guide our individual and corporate behavior, as well as the leadership and work of the Anti-Racism task force of DOM/Global Ministries.
IV. CORE COVENANTAL VALUES
1. Community – Ubuntu
Because God is community (trinity), because God has called us into community as members of the body of Christ [Ephesians 4:12], and because we at DOM/Global Ministries understand ourselves as family, we seek to build a community characterized by inclusivity, diversity, mutuality, and relationality. Each member of this community is joined and knit together by “ubuntu.” Ubuntu is defined as: “All life is interrelated. All [of us] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. Respect of the Individual
Because each person is created in the image of God [Genesis 1:27] and because we are all made one in Christ [Galatians 3:28], we strive to develop relationships of mutual respect characterized on one hand by humility and gentleness and on the other hand by speaking the truth in love [Ephesians 4].
3. Transformation of Systems
Because we recognize the sin and injustice of racism [Ephesians 4:31], because God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation [II Corinthians 5:18], and because individually and collectively we are called to repentance, we confess our complicity in racism and commit ourselves to the ministry of reconciliation asking God to transform DOM/Global Ministries into an anti-racist and pro-reconciling community by the Holy Spirit.
Because as members of the body of Christ we have been given gifts for the building up of the body of Christ [Ephesians 4:11-12], we covenant together to encourage the embodiment of these gifts through a variety of information/training sessions led by DOM/Global Ministries staff, outside consultants, and international partners for the purpose of equipping and educating us so that racism can be eradicated and reconciliation promoted within DOM/Global Ministries.
Because God has given us a vision of Shalom which is at the same time both already here but not yet fully realized and because we recognize that the ministry of creating an anti-racist/pro-reconciling community is a long-term, painful struggle in which relationships will be challenged and grievances will be made, we commit ourselves to proactively addressing these challenges speaking truthfully and guided by justice, agapJ love, patience, respect, and hope.
V. CONCLUSION AND COMMITMENT