Many were shocked with the racist remarks attributed to President Trump and the way in which he referred to countries in Africa, as well as El Salvador and Haiti. His comment, along with previous public statements, pierced our hearts and the hearts of our partners as many of our church partners are located in the countries and regions he disparages. Global Ministries, a common witness in mission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, is unable to be silent in the face of the words and attitudes that dehumanize and insult our sisters and brothers. The president’s actions go against our core values that we cherish: community, mutuality, justice, peace, and presence. We are blessed to receive the witness of our partner churches in Africa, El Salvador, Haiti, and in many other places that the president would no doubt place in the same category.
The Apostle Paul describes the human community as a family clothing themselves with Christ. That means that “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-29 NRSV). This is a beautiful expression of the profound beloved community that God calls us to create in the midst of the wonderful diversities of gender, race, faith, and nationality with which God has endowed us.
We are bound because of love, and we are no longer apart from each other. We are all part of the same family, with God as our Father/Mother. As Desmond Tutu defined it, this radical love “makes us insiders and not outsiders. All are to be held in this incredible embrace of the love that won’t let us go.” It is from that radical love and welcoming that we want to express our disgust at the comments of the President directed at our family in Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Such statements should not be made by the president of a nation built in part by those very same people.
We stand alongside with our brothers and sisters, partners in mission, in Haiti, El Salvador and the diverse countries of Africa. We also stand alongside the families of Dreamers who live in the U.S. and confront painful situations regarding their personal safety, well-being, and their uncertain future. We stand alongside our brothers and sisters abroad and herein, in defense of their dignity and integrity.
Global Ministries joins others in the faith-based community in urging the president of the United States to apologize for his racist expression and attitudes directed at our global family. We also urge our congregations to recommit themselves to the core values of Global Ministries (see suggestions below). Racial bias and bigotry must stop. In this unfortunate hour, it is our Christian duty to call the leader of the country into account. May his eyes and the eyes of this nation be opened, so we can indeed call ourselves children of our everlasting, welcoming God.
Ideas for Action:
- Experience a People-to-People Pilgrimage and form personal connection with a Global Ministries’ partner.
- Use the Embrace the Fruits of the Spirits curriculum for Vacation Bible School or as Sunday School so that children in your congregation can hear the voices of brothers and sisters in the Caribbean
- Participate in “Dreamers at the Table”, to educate and engage your congregation on the importance of DACA
- Join Webinars for the Caribbean Initiative and learn directly from partners about the joys and concerns of their communities
- Sponsor a child in Africa, the Caribbean, or elsewhere through the Global Ministries Child & Elder Sponsorship program
- Pray weekly with global partners and accompany them in their ministries
Denomination and Ecumenical Statements