PMR Recommits to be Anti-racist Church
The Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive, at an extraordinary meeting on June 10th, the 95th birthday of the United Church of Canada, gathered to recommit this Regional Council to the work of becoming an anti-racist Church.
In that meeting we together lamented deeply over the truth that racism is real pervading our structures and communities. We reached for answers to what we must do next to dismantle structures and ways of being that dehumanize people based on race. Our talk with each other was uncomfortable and hard as we sought the right words to name our participation and privilege within those same structures.
What we know to be true also is that anti-black racism and racism is real and continues in our societal structures and in our Church. What we know to be true is that we have not loved our neighbours as God commanded. We lament the truth that we have fallen short of the glory of God. We are called to repent, to turn towards God’s way.
Therefore we, the Pacific Mountain Regional Council, acknowledge that racism has existed and still exists in our structures, systems, and communities.
We acknowledge that The United Church of Canada is actively working towards being an anti-racist church and progress is slow.
As our expression of solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and as a commitment to engage in developing processes that facilitate real change, we re-affirm that in the Pacific Mountain Regional Council Black Lives Matter and anti-black racism and racism will not be tolerated.
We commit ourselves to developing policies, procedures and processes that embody this statement and to taking action to repent our white privilege and return to the hard work of becoming allies for the purpose of eliminating racism in all its forms wherever it is found.
We commit ourselves anew to God’s command to love our neighbor.
The Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive will, in the next few weeks, begin a facilitated process of examining its own white privilege and the ways that privilege has influenced decisions and policies. The Executive will make changes and update the Regional Council membership.
The work of becoming an anti-racist church is hard work and it is work that belongs to us all. It will require trust, prayer, faith, courage and deep commitment. It will take time to do well. Your Executive is committed to turning its words into meaningful action for such a time as this.
Jay Olson, President Blair Odney, President-Elect
James (Jim) Angus Katherine Brittain
Beverly Brown Jenny Carter
Anna Chambers Richard Chung
Bob Fillier Laura Hermakin
Jake Highfield Peter Jones
Treena Duncan, Regional Executive Minister Mauricio Araujo, Assistant to the Executive Minister