Accolades for ARJ’s April Webinar

More than 1650 participants joined us on April 13 by Zoom and Facebook for an inward look at how complicity with racism created and perpetuates the divide in our churches and communities.  Representatives from diverse faith communities provided honest, inspiring, and challenging perspectives.  Our thanks to everyone who helped make it all possible. If you missed the program, want to see it again, or wish to share it with others, you can find it here.

Black Achievement: Great Ideas/Successes
On Pointe – Understanding White Privilege

This month, ARJ member Chris Fain brings us another insightful article on the struggles and unrecognized achievements of Black people.  In “On Pointe – Understanding White Privilege”, she puts the spotlight on the dance world and the lack of diversity in the field of ballet. She gives us pause to consider who gets special privileges on the dance stage and why, as she highlights successful Black dancers who’ve broken the color barriers and reached success. Read the full story here. 

Still Time to Join ARJ Small Groups

New small group classes are underway. Sign up now.  It’s easy to start a new class or to join an existing one. We understand you can’t always make every class but we make it easy to catch up. Invite others to sign up and learn together. All programs are on Zoom and led by ARJ team members. Visit the ARJ website for complete program descriptions or to register, click on the links below.  

New in May
Creating Beloved Community
Saturday mornings: May 1 – 22    9:00-10:30 AM
Tuesday mornings: May 4 – 25    9:00-10:30 AM
Strength to Love ​
Tuesdays:  May 4 – 27   6:00-7:30PM

Ongoing in May
Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus​
Thursdays:  through May 27   6:30-8:00PM
Strength to Love
Wednesdays: through May 26   6:30-8:00PM

Getting to Know Our Partner Churches Better

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and we hope everyone is getting vaccinated. But the good news is that both St. James and Resurrection are returning to modified in-person worship and gatherings while retaining the options for virtual connections. We encourage ARJ members and friends to watch or safely attend services at each other’s churches. Sign up for each other’s Bible classes and small groups, too. These are great ways to really get to know your “neighbors” better. 

Check out the church websites and sign up for weekly pastor messages to better connect within our two congregations.  
St. James UMC 
Sign up for Pastor Cleaver’s Newsletter

Church of the Resurrection
Sign up for Pastor Adam’s Newsletter

Other Information & Activities

Now, Christians, Let’s Have a Real Conversation

By Garlinda Burton, Interim General Secretary

In the end, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the only person who received true justice from our U.S. system was Officer Derek Chauvin. Derek Chauvin was accused of a violent crime, and trained police officers took him into custody without kicking in his door with a no-knock warrant and without bystanders being shot. As an accused murderer, Officer Chauvin was not beaten or tased, nor did any officer kneel on his neck in the process of arresting him. He had adequate legal counsel with every protection afforded him under state and federal laws, and his counsel put on a robust defense. His trial was relatively speedy, and his case was heard by a judge and a jury of his peers from his community—half of whom looked like him. And, in the end, this fair and impartial jury issued a verdict of “guilty” based on the evidence provided.

The system worked for Officer Chauvin, as it did not work for George Floyd. Read more…

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Hate crimes against the Asian-Pacific community have been on the rise.  As Allies for Racial Justice, we condemn the actions of anyone who perpetuates prejudice and violence against our fellow human beings. Let’s come together this month to celebrate the rich history and culture of the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have contributed to America’s diversity and success.  

A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island). From helping build the first transcontinental railroad to protecting the nation during times of warn Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have played significant roles in shaping modern history. 

Learn more:
Home | Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020
Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) 

Missouri Conference Heartland District – United Methodist Women

Here is a great opportunity to get your friends together for an important Saturday morning book discussion and meet UMW members from around the area. The Reading Program is a cherished United Methodist Women tradition that brings together members in mission as they explore, share and discuss the written word and examine the issues of racism.  Advance registration required.  Sign up here.

Tulsa: The Fire & The Forgotten

Monday, May 31   7:00PM  on PBS 
This is the 100th Anniversary of the horrific 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. A new documentary from PBS examines the Tulsa Greenwood violence in the context of other anti-Black violence and Black resilience, including the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Watch and discuss the program and issues with your friends, family and small groups on your local PBS television station.
Learn more and watch the preview here.