Church has the tools to dismantle racism today

August 28, 2020

In one hour, four young United Methodist leaders addressed why now is the time for the church to engage in dismantling racism and how each local church can — and must — make a change in the communities where it is serving.

Calling out the names of Black lives lost, the Rev. Theon Johnson III said inaction goes against the commandment to “love God, love neighbor and love oneself.”

The Aug. 26 broadcast on The United Methodist Church’s website and Facebook page was part of a series of denominational town hall meetings held to discuss eradicating racism. Also taking part were Ann Jacob, Andres De Arco and Katelin Hansen. Erin Hawkins, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, was moderator.

Johnson is pastor of Downs Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, California. Calling his community the “hub” for innovation, Johnson said repentance is an act of innovation.

“We have a responsibility to pick up the pieces to who we once were — we ought to get into some good trouble. Ruffle a few feathers. Make our mark in the world for the sake of God through Jesus.”

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