A Message From our ARJ Leaders

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them equal
to whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
– from the New Zealand Prayer Book

Dear Members and Friends of Allies for Racial Justice,

Our heartfelt prayers to you and your families at this unprecedented time. The pandemic is serious and certainly disruptive to our daily lives and our ability to plan for the future. We all feel unsettled as the Coronavirus spreads. Yet we have each other and our Christ-centered faith to keep us strong. We will answer this crisis with faith, not fear.

While we cannot meet in person right now, we don’t want to lose touch. We encourage members of ARJ Small Groups to call one another and even adopt some of the new technologies to visit together as a group. This is a time to strengthen our relationships, know one another better, and share our ideas and resources.

Please follow the local and national government decrees and the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Continue to pray for those who are affected by this virus: those who have lost jobs and are worried about the safety of their families, those who are ill, the medical professionals treating them, the scientists working on cures, those with mental health concerns, those feeling lonely and isolated, and all leaders making tough decisions to curb the spread of the virus and keep us safe. God, with His unlimited grace, will lead us.

Blessings to all,

Anita Maltbia – St. James UMC
Kay McCarthy – Church of the Resurrection

To Be an Ally for Racial Justice

ARJ is unique because it is a faith-based organization at its core. We embrace the two greatest commandments: loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves. As true allies, we can demonstrate and effect real change.

The word ally basically means connection to a common cause. Allies for Racial Justice was founded in 2016 when the two senior pastors of our two churches, Emanuel Clever III and Adam Hamilton, came together and determined a common cause for mutual benefit: to transform our congregations and our city into the place envisioned by Jesus. A place where all brothers and sisters in Christ care for and empathize with one another. A transformation that would begin and grow through listening, understanding and truly knowing each other.

Through this partnership, we recognize that communities of color fight every day against racism, hate, prejudice and intolerance. American culture and its institutions remain deeply rooted in oppression. The onus is on each of us to pay attention, comprehend and trust the experiences of our brothers and sisters in Christ if we expect to make a difference.

We must become incredibly good listeners. Our allies of color have been dealing with marginalization first hand their entire lives. We don’t have any “answers” for overcoming racial injustice that they haven’t already thought of and fought for. It’s not their role to teach us everything we don’t know. We must educate ourselves about systemic racism and inform others in order to create more allies. As we form closer friendships among members of our two congregations, the conversations about race become safer, easier, more meaningful.

There are many great books, articles, videos and black media resources available to enlighten us on matters of racial injustice and white privilege. Start your personal education by going to the Allies for Racial Justice website. Click HERE for all our recommended resources. For questions and other information, email: allies4racialjustice@gmail.com.

Our Partner Church Activities During Virus Outbreak

St. James UMC 

Pastor Cleaver invites you to connect with the St. James congregation during the Coronavirus stay-at-home order. Click here to learn more about streaming sermons and connecting throughout the week, including Wednesdays for the morning Pray Woke call and evening Bible study on Facebook. 

Church of the Resurrection 

Church of the Resurrection takes the health and well-being of our congregation, staff and community very seriously.  Click here to learn more about how Resurrection is responding to the outbreak, and how you can connect online for worship, Wednesday night classes, activities for families, students and more.

And MUSIC is always good for the soul.  Enjoy this song from the COR Worship Collective: “There’s a Peace I’ve Come to Know.”

Community Events & Activities

SevenDays® Make a Ripple, Change the World is an annual weeklong event of the Faith Always Wins Foundation. The goal is to create community experiences that demonstrate how hatred, bigotry and ignorance can be overcome by kindness and interfaith dialogue.  

It continues a healing journey following the April 2014 murders of Dr. William Corporon, his grandson Reat Underwood, and Teresa LaManno. They were killed in a senseless hate crime outside local Jewish facilities by a convicted Neo-Nazi.  

Due to the Coronavirus, this year’s program has been re-tooled. Some programs will be rescheduled and some will move to an on-line platform – including the LOVE DAY panel with Rev. Emanuel Clever III on April 21.  For details on programs, dates and how to participate go to http://givesevendays.org/