We believe in racial justice. We condemn racism as sinful and opposite to God’s purpose. The United States has a long and ugly history of slavery and racist oppression, and the wounds of this history persist in our local community, in our political systems, and sometimes even in the ways we see one another, despite our best efforts. As Christians we must oppose racism and white supremacy in all their forms.
On September 18, 2022, St. John UCC affirmed by congregational vote the following covenant:
As followers of Jesus who taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves, acknowledging that we are fallible humans who often fail to adhere to that teaching, we the congregation of St. John United Church of Christ of Freeport, Illinois covenant to be a Racial Justice Church.
We covenant to:
- Pursue intentional learning about race, racism, implicit bias, white supremacy, and the life experiences of people of color, through both published media and interpersonal relationships.
- Examine our own individual and collective biases and root out any racist or other ideologies of oppression.
- Strive to make our church an even more welcoming place for people of all races.
- Establish and strengthen relationships with communities of color locally.
- Partner with organizations led by people of color in opposing racism however it manifests in our city, county, and beyond.
These are long-held commitments of our congregation, and today we formalize them in the form of this covenant. May God guide us and bless our efforts as we seek to create a just world for all people.