Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta emphatically affirms that Black lives matter. We are pained and outraged at the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, David McAtee and countless others before them. We understand that these events are occurring against the backdrop of a global pandemic and economic and political uncertainty, all of which disproportionately affect Black, Brown, Indigenous people and returning citizens.
We believe White supremacy is a violent pathology that is destructive to society and a sin that is incompatible with the kingdom of God. This continues to be evident when Black demonstrators are met with state-sanctioned violence.
We believe that God desires full equity among God’s children and unrestricted participation in community life. We recognize that the church is imperfect and that Scripture has been misused to justify White supremacy and Racism.
We acknowledge structural Racism in society limits the expression of the full spectrum of God. God’s completeness in church and in society will only be achieved when people of all colors can respect and trust each other as equals.
We proclaim that the Bible presents an insistent witness to God’s love for diversity and justice as heard in the words of prophets who reject oppression; seen in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ; and experienced through the work of the Holy Spirit, who consistently blows through human divisions to reveal God’s love for humanity.
We believe we must dismantle Racism if we are to reflect the kingdom of Heaven on Earth. We do not expect this to be easy. Standing with our Black congregants and community requires us to match our words with bold and fearless actions. Therefore, we commit ourselves to,
● Engage in deep reflection of our own history and complicity.
● Direct more of our resources toward supporting racial justice initiatives.
● Form meaningful partnerships with Anti-Racism organizations.
● Advocate for changes in discriminatory public policies.
We seek to grow in solidarity with people seeking justice and fighting Racism, we share the burden of grief and anger, and we desire a more perfect society that treats people with dignity. Central Presbyterian Church loves and serves the city of Atlanta. We bear its daily stress; we cry for peace and justice.
Anti Racism Resources
“21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge”
https://myersparkpres.org/project/better-when-were-back-together/) hosted by Myers Park Presbyterian Church and based on the work of America & Moore Diversity Education, Research, and Consulting. (https://www.eddiemoorejr.com/21daychallenge)
“7-day Online Protest for Social Justice with The King Center”
This anti-racist syllabus is for people realizing they were never taught how to be anti-racist. How to treat all the racial groups as equals. How to look at the racial inequity all around and look for the racist policies producing it, and the racist ideas veiling it. A wide-ranging list for people in various points on their anti-racist journey.
Here are resources from The Thoughtful Christian that offer a variety of ways to study, engage and learn:
This one-session adult study is part of the “Racism Study Pack” from The Thoughtful Christian. They are offering this downloadable resource for free at the links below. We encourage you to form a study group or email to members as a starting point. Consider purchasing the study pack from The Thoughtful Christian to continue your study as well.
Download: Participant Handout | Leader’s Guide
Purchase the “Racism Study Pack”
“Responding to Racism”
This one-session youth study from The Thoughtful Christian helps leaders guide preteens and teens through the complicated subject of racism. We encourage you to either lead your youth through this study (in-person or virtually depending on your situation) or email to parents to encourage a family study.
Download: Participant Handout | Leader’s Guide
“For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believein a Better World“
This discussion and activity guide includes suggestions on how parents and teachers can talk with children about race and violence, ideas on how to create a safe space for meaningful dialogue, and more. It was written by the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, a multicultural center and museum committed to promoting respect, hope, and understanding.
The guide is inspired by For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World, an upcoming picture book by Michael W. Waters that will be available this September.
It tells the story of a boy named Jeremiah and his family who discover hopeful forms of activism and advocacy in response to racism and gun violence in their community.
Download the Discussion and Activity Guide
Preorder For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World