Many Members, One Table
In 1996, the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) approved the formation of a church-wide process to discern the nature of racism in North America and to develop ways of helping congregations address racism. Out of this process, an Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation initiative was put before the church in 1998. At their July, 1998 meetings, the Administrative Committee and the General Board approved this initiative. The initiative is based on several premises.
- Racism is a spiritual and theological dilemma as well as a social evil;
- Racist practice exists throughout the life of the church and needs to be addressed. The church needs to get its own “house” in order even as it looks toward being a transformational agent in the larger world;
- Racism is a systemic problem with historical root causes;
- Racism can be defined in many ways. This initiative is based on an analysis of racism that understands racism to be a combination of racial prejudice and institutional and/or economic power.
- When conceived the initiative was based on a vision for the church as a place “where brothers and sisters of all races, languages, and cultures will grow towards God’s glorious realm, where all have a place at the table and none shall be turned away.”