Our Impact

Undoing Racism®

posted on March 27, 2016

The Capital District UMC convened its second Undoing Racism® workshop October 19-21, 2017, and plans a third workshop in 2018. Details of the 2018 workshop will be posted in this space.

The goal of these workshops is to build a strong community of UM leaders who are familiar with the evil of racism and are equipped to resist it in whatever form it presents itself in our personal lives, our churches, and our world. Undoing Racism events focus on institutional racism and its intersection with other forms of oppression.

Undoing Racism events, offered by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (www.pisab.org), immerse racially diverse groups in the origins, history, functioning, persistence, and destructiveness of racism in our society, and involves the groups in deep reflection on their diverse experiences of racism. The People’s’ Institute has trained more than 500,000 people globally, including 10,000 judges, teachers, elected officials, and health and human services staff in Texas over the last ten years.

The Rio Texas Conference and the Amos Commission cover most of the costs. Contributions toward these events can be made online at http://www.capitaldistrictumc.org/amos-commission/ or by check payable to the ‘Capital District UMC’ (1221 W. Ben White Blvd., Suite 201-A, Austin Texas 78704) with ‘Undoing Racism Workshop’ on the note line.

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We are called to “seek the welfare of the city” (Jer 29), to love all our neighbors as ourselves. Yet in 2017 we still struggle with racism. Some of us sense that across the racial divide, we pass one another like ships in the night. Our relationships and mutual understanding seem superficial. De facto segregation still separates us in many dimensions of church and community life. In this uneasy coexistence, we long for the joy and beauty of the beloved, reconciled community.

If you sense a call to a deeper understanding of racism and how to undo it, we invite you to join hands with us in this Undoing Racism workshop. It is not just a class/lesson — it is an experience and the start of a mission journey. UMC members who have participated in previous workshops have felt the movement of the Spirit at work in our hearts, deepening our relationships and inspiring us to continue to work together to undo racism in all aspects of our personal, church, and community life. Elements of the workshop include establishing

1) a common definition of racism;

2) a common set of principles for dealing with systems of injustice both outside and within our church walls; and

3) one or more ongoing Undoing Racism small groups that afford a safe, affirming, and grace-filled space for diverse disciples to embody the Gospel in holy conversations and local initiatives to undo racism. 

Congregational Support Needed: (Donate)

The estimated cost for each Undoing Racism workshop (about 40 participants) is $15,000.

Funding comes from several sources:

  • A grant from Mission Vitality of the Rio Texas Conference covers $7500 for this workshop and $7,500 for another workshop in 2018.
  • The Amos Commission is contributing $1,000 toward the costs of the workshop.
  • Each workshop participant is invited to make a donation of $25 to help cover the cost of meals and hospitality. However, no one will be turned away due to lack of ability to pay.
  • Capital District churches are invited to partner in this workshop by encouraging congregation members to participate and by contributing financially. The goal for congregational support for this workshop is $6,500.

We are inviting the mission team, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, and other interested groups and members of each church in the district to support this initiative. No donation is too small or too large.

The Amos Commission’s first Undoing Racism® Workshop was April 7-9, 2016 at Parker Lane UMC.

United Methodist Women and their powerful influence on justice

posted on August 3, 2010

For more than a century, Methodist women have led a struggle for human rights and social justice. Three brief examples will describe their efforts:

Our first national assembly was scheduled in 1942 at St. Louis, Missouri. We changed the location to Columbus, Ohio, so that our integrated group could be housed in the same hotel. This led the way for the Charter for Racial Justice, an outline of our beliefs, adopted by the Women’s Division in 1952, then adopted by local units throughout the country. On petition by the Women’s Division, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted it in 1980.

Locally, in 1956 we found an underserved area called Montopolis, where we began Austin’s first bi-lingual kindergarten. By 1965, we had added a health clinic, community room, thrift store and other services. The city gradually took over the school and clinic, but scholarships and other projects still expand justice through Montopolis Friendship Community Center.

Here in Texas in 1989 we began January Legislative Events, bringing United Methodist Women leaders from across the state to Austin to meet with legislators and to hear powerful speakers, scheduled by Texas Impact. These women lobby both in Austin, and on their return home, for justice issues.

The Texas State Legislature is in session right now, and as usual the UMW have extended their lobbying and advocacy efforts on behalf of the State’s children and all others who deserve better justice.

So we celebrate the work of the UMW, and hold them up as our first role model for Austin.