For Immediate Release
May 14, 2008
Press release from:
Biblical Witness Fellowship, A Confessing Movement in the United Church of Christ http://www.biblicalwitness.org
Rev. David Runnion-Bareford, Executive Director
Given the present reality of our church and society, we call on the leadership of the United Church of Christ to suspend plans to initiate a church wide "dialogue on race," scheduled to begin May 18th!
While we applaud the many faithful pastors who will use this Sunday to speak to their congregations in a Godly way about racial reconciliation, this is not the time for the UCC to seek further publicity in this way. This is an historic hour in America. Whether we will vote for or against him, the candidacy of our Christian brother and United Church of Christ member Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States has shattered our racial barriers as no other event in our history. He has called us to a unity and hope that transcends our history of racial division. Unfortunately, the President and leadership of the United Church of Christ, in support of UCC Pastor Jeremiah Wright, damaged Obama's candidacy by refocusing attention on racial division in a way that, sadly, energized racism in the nation. We call our church not to compound this error by engaging in 'dialogue' on the pain of the past or the issues that divide.
The United Church of Christ is in no position to offer leadership on this subject. The presidency of John Thomas has had a poor record on race - landmarked by the alienation of the entire Puerto Rico Conference and the failure to respond to the African American Pastors Memorandum of 2004. The United Church of Christ is one of the least racially diverse protestant denominations in the United States.
Now is the time to authenticate the unity that begins with personal transformation through faith in Jesus Christ. Only when we die to ourselves and receive life in Jesus Christ do we become a people of one blood, one name, one character, one history and one future. We call on the United Church of Christ to live our Christ-given unity in repentance and humility rather than presume to dialogue about race.Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org