Dismantling Racism in the NYAC



From the Desk of Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton 

Bishop Launches a Broad Initiative to Dismantle Racism in the New York Annual Conference
December 7, 2020

As we mark the beginning of the liturgical year, there are more than a few matters resting heavily upon my spirit.
 Among them is the persistent and urgent call that has been placed on my heart to build upon the initial efforts to address the past and present sin of racism in our midst. Many believe we need a renewed expression of commitment in this Advent season as we look to the days and weeks ahead with a faith-filled sense of hope, joyful expectation, longing, forgiveness, and salvation. 
I remain deeply committed to the meaningful work envisioned and put into motion last summer. As a Conference, we must and will address the historical and adverse impact of systemic racism in our churches and institutional structures.

Bishop Bickerton Offers Steps Toward Dismantling Racism in the New York Annual Conference
June 26, 2020
The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 has brought to bear the urgency to intentionally and effectively address systemic racism in all sectors of our society. The church is not immune to that examination as well. We have been complicit in allowing racist systems, structures, and behaviors to be maintained for as long as we have been in existence. The time has come, and the opportunity is clearly before us. 

Are We Listening?
June 2, 2020
In times like this I miss the voice of historic leaders who found a way to brilliantly weave reality with prophecy, peace with justice, and love in the midst of times when it is so very easy to hate.  One of those amazing, God-led leaders was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the midst of a context that created chaos and controversy, it was Dr. King who said, “Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots.  But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.”

A Call to Prayer 
May 28, 2020

I can’t breathe. Those are the last words George Floyd used as four police officers pinned him by his neck on Monday evening, resulting in his death.  They were also the last words spoken by Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man killed in New York City in 2014.  These senseless acts of violence by police officers against unarmed Black men is intolerable and provide clear evidence that the racism I just spoke of over the weekend in relation to Ahmaud Arbery is deep and dangerous and unjust. I can’t breathe.

More Than One Pandemic: Reflections on Ahmaud Arbery
May 23, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news.  From medical advice to political implications to a gradual re-opening, these are the stories discussed each night in a thirty-minute newscast or a multi-page newspaper.  It’s all about the virus. But tucked away in some of those broadcasts there is a video.  It’s a tape of a young man running.  His name is Ahmaud Arbery.


From our NYAC Churches and Leadership

A Statement of the Korean Council of the New York Annual Conference: Standing in Solidarity with the Oppressed: the Murder of George Floyd (June 11, 2020)
We, the Korean Council of the New York Annual Conference, condemn the systemic evil manifested in many forms and shapes of racism—racial discrimination, racial inequity, racial profiling, racial stereotyping, white supremacy—still perpetrated in the murder of Mr. George Floyd. We name racism as a sin that trespasses beyond individual ethics and faith, even fortified into structural, systemic oppression in society.