'Service of Lament’ Challenges Church on Racism

June 25, 2020 | by Sam Hodges

'Service of Lament’ Challenges Church on Racism

An unflinching, hour-long “Service of Lament, Repentance, Communion and Commitment” went online June 24, putting The United Methodist Church on record as committed to a renewed push against racism.

“The Council of Bishops and every church agency within our denomination are working together as never before because this call from God and outcry from our troubled world are so urgent,” says East Ohio Conference Bishop Tracy Malone during the video service. “We are acting and moving.”

Pulled together in under two weeks despite the COVID-19 pandemic — with footage contributed from 25 different locations — the video features prayer, Scripture and anguished testimony from United Methodists of color.

Woven throughout are spirituals and protest hymns sung with spare or no accompaniment, as well as photos of demonstrations and victims of racial violence.


Sam Hodges is a staff journalist with UMNews.