224th GA Calls Presbyterians to Action Against Racism

The 224th General Assembly of the PC(USA) declares that Black lives matter; that our country’s most important institutions have been built to sustain white privilege, to protect white lives and white property at the expense of our siblings of color; and that the church, through ignorance, denial, and in some cases deliberate action, has participated in this injustice.

We have been slow to face the reality of systemic racism. We have been slow to acknowledge the pain of our fellow Presbyterians, of our fellow Christians, of our fellow citizens, and of those who have come to America for a better life, whose value has been judged by the color of their skin.

We pledge to join hands and hearts with our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) siblings to actively confront and dismantle systemic racism in our church and in society at large, and to work for a more just, merciful, and peaceful country that allows all of God’s children to flourish.

The 224th General Assembly:

  • Calls all Presbyterians to hear and heed the Gospel imperative to love God, neighbor, and self by living out a deeper commitment to active participation with Jesus Christ in the work of building God’s kin-dom through:
    1. Personal and corporate repentance, spiritual renewal, and devotion to the Great Ends of the Church.
    2. Listening and responding to the voices of peoples long silenced.
    3. Energetic, intelligent, imaginative, and loving involvement in the Matthew 25 Initiative and its intertwined foci: building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty
  • Calls congregations, sessions, presbyteries, and synods to review items of business referred to the 225th General Assembly (2022) [listed in the sidebar] and prayerfully consider the call of God to work and witness for the goals and values expressed therein.
  • Recommends that PC(USA) congregations, mid-councils, and all General Assembly entities develop and adopt an antiracism policy in their bylaws.

We must have our own denominational and congregational houses in order. We must dare to be an image of hope for those around us.

When our colleagues, siblings, and neighbors protest in the streets to say that being Black should never be an excuse to be targeted and killed, when so many stand in solidarity to say #BlackLivesMatter, and when our own communities are weighed down in grief and anger, it is time to stand alongside our BIPOC siblings in voice and in action.

GA224_LamentHope_Wide

Business Referred to 225th General Assembly (2022)

02-020, report from the Disparities Experienced by Black Women and Girls Task Force (PDF, 127 KB)

02-034-INFO, progress report from the Special Committee on Racism, Truth, and Reconciliation (PDF, 186 KB)

02-041, Lazarus is Walking in Baltimore (PDF, 225 KB) from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy

02-084, Resolution Addressing the Lack of Installed Pastoral Leadership in People of Color Congregations in the PC(USA) (PDF, 185 KB) from the Racial Equity Advocacy Committee

02-100, 2021–2022 Mission Work Plan for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (Part 1) (PDF, 246 KB) from the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board

02-137, Amendment of G-3.0106 (Administration of Mission) (PDF, 123 KB) overture by Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley