Our Baptismal Vow
We believe it is our baptismal promise to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves and that we, as the body of Christ, are called to stand with those who are victims of such injustice and work for peace and reconciliation. This includes addressing 400 years of racial injustice that has and continues to occur in our country, which we know to be a sin against God.
We grieve all those individuals who have been injured and lost life in the ensuing chaos, and for the loved ones left behind. We pray for an end to violence against all of God’s children, an end to brutality, an end to division, an end to blindness. We pray for God to remove the logs from our eyes so that we can better see the path forward into the newness of Creation together. We acknowledge that we are not free until all are free. Below are organizations and groups to get involved in-- on both local and national levels-- that are actively doing anti-racist work. There are also some tools and opportunities for further education like books, movies, podcasts, and documentaries. Don't forget we educate to advocate. By this we mean we learn so that our faiths might be transformed into a lived faith. We are called to put into action God's call to us. There are so many options where God might be calling you so we have provided this pretty extensive, though not certainly comprehensive, list.
Please note: The leadership, staff, and people of BUMC may or may not agree with the opinions expressed by these authors and content creators. We do not list them as a statement of where BUMC stands as a whole on matters of race and faith. Rather, we link them here as what we hope are great Christ-centered conversation starters. We encourage you to think critically about the history, concepts, and language introduced in these resources. Our goal is to bring us closer to God and one another.
Want to get more involved in racial justice ministry or have a list of more in-depth resources? Contact Rev. Ani Missirian-Wilson at email@example.com.
Local Ways to Get Involved
Afro-American History and Genealogy Society of Nashville
The Afro-American History and Genealogy Society of Nashville promotes scholarly research and provides resources for genealogical and historical investigation, promotion, and preservation.
Gideon’s Army is a community-based, grassroots organization that works to design programs, based on contemporary interpretations of the theory of restorative justice, focusing on dismantling the school to prison pipeline.
Harvest Hands is a catalyst for Christ-centered, holistic community development working alongside our neighbors to further education, healthy living, spiritual formation, and economic development in South Nashville.
Nashville Peace and Justice Center
Nashville Peace and Justice Center is a community based coalition of individuals and organizations working to promote equity and to create a peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable society through reflection, education and non-violent action.
Open Table Nashville
Open Table Nashville disrupts cycles of poverty, journeys with the marginalized and provides education about issues of homelessness.
The Public promotes anti-racism through education, advocacy and action so that Franklin experiences healing, equity and justice for all its residents.
REAL Conversation Groups
Join BUMC and others for monthly informal conversations to dig deeper in conversations of race and faith. These groups meet at varying times via Zoom. Contact Dr. Laura Brantley to learn more.
Siloam Health serves Nashville’s uninsured, underserved, and culturally marginalized. Their patients and clients come from over 80 homelands and speak more than 70 languages.
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) empowers immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state.
UMC Commission on Race and Religion
Contact Rev. Tabitha Mundy for Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference chapter information.
National Ways to Get Involved
Be the Bridge
The vision of Be the Bridge is that people and organizations are aware and responding to the racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. People are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but are grounded in truth. All are equipped to flourish.
Braver Angels seeks to unite red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.
UMC Black Methodists for Church Renewal
UMC Black Methodists for Church Renewal represents and is dedicated to more than 2,400 Black United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African American members across the denomination.
UMC Board of Church and Society
UMC Board of Church and Society is dedicated to the work of living faith, seeking justice, and pursuing peace. The board is called to seek the implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns. Led by the General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, Church and Society works to fulfill the mandate of:
- relating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Church, communities, and the world in which they live,
- bringing the whole of human life into conformity with the will of God,
- and showing that reconciliation involves personal, social and civic righteousness.
UMC General Commission on Religion and Race
UMC General Commission on Religion and Race provides many studies great for Sunday School classes and self-study, online courses, and opportunities for advocacy
- "Being a Better Antiracist”
- "Cultivating Diverse Relationships Lets us Support, Learn from One Another"(opinion piece)
- “The Confederate Reckoning” is a compilation of reporting, resources, and opinions regarding confederate monuments and American history.
- “Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo,” presented by the General Commission on Religion and Race of the UMC.
- Systemic Racism Explained
- The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes
- “Immaculate Perception,” TED Talk by Dr. Jerry Kang on implicit bias
- “How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time” Baratunde Thurston
- A Tangled Mercy – Joy Jordan-Lake
- Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
- Go Tell it on the Mountain – James Baldwin
- Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult
- The Water Dancer – Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Children – David Halberstam
- Why We Can’t Wait – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Letter From a Birmingham Jail – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – Austin Channing Brown
- God With Us: Lived Theology and the Freedom Struggle in Americus, Georgia – Ansley L. Quiros
- Divided by Faith - Michael O. Emerson
- Woke Church - Eric Mason
- The Color of Compromise - Jemar Tisby
- Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
- Many Colors - Soong Chan Rah
- Oneness Embraced - Tony Evans
- Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church - Mark DeYmaz
- Letters to a Birmingham Jail - Bryan Loritts
- One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love - John Perkins
- “The Color of Compromise” (series)
- “Jazz” – by Ken Burns (miniseries)
- “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” – Henry Louis Gates (also on YouTube)
- “I Am Not Your Negro” – about James Baldwin
- "Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement" (documentary series)
- “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” – Henry Louis Gates (also on Prime)
- Holy Post: Race in America - Phil Vischer