Preaching White Privilege (LC)
Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

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NY Conference Center, Learning Center



Doug Cunningham

Dear white pastors,
Join us in preparing to preach a sermon acknowledging and exploring our white privilege. We encourage you to read Dr. Jennifer Harvey’s book Dear White Christians before the session as a common source of information and inspiration for our work. This is a call and an invitation for white pastors to address the issue of white privilege/white supremacy in a sermon during Black History Month in February.
To register or ask any questions, please contact Rev. Ed Horne at or Rev. Doug Cunningham at
The New York Conference Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) is taking this initiative to address the ongoing racism and white privilege that continues to plague our society and our church. In particular, MFSA seeks to help white United Methodists – of all theological and social perspectives – recognize and remedy the privilege and supremacy that those in the dominant culture perpetuate, but often fail to see.
MFSA introduced this emphasis with an event in September featuring keynote addresses by Rev. Gil Caldwell, retired UM pastor and longtime advocate for racial justice, and Dr. Jennifer Harvey of Drake University, author of the book, Dear White Christians. Both speakers lifted up the need to see the intersection of the issues of race, gender and other justice concerns, while moving past seeking racial reconciliation to substantively repairing the damage caused by ongoing injustice.
Taking its cue from the "Statement on the Resurgence of Racism" by our own UM Ebony Bishops issued in November, a team has come together to plan programs and actions in the New York Conference that will help members and churches focus on the ways that even well-intentioned Christians contribute to racial oppression. This work is born of the conviction that all of us have work to do within ourselves and our communities to address the deep-seated attitudes that continue to cause harm.
As a beginning, MFSA urges pastors of predominantly white congregations in our Conference to address the subject of white privilege and supremacy from the pulpit during Black History Month in February. MFSA will provide sample sermons, liturgical aids and other resources to assist churches and pastors in this effort, recognizing that each needs to be shaped to its own context. We also encourage all to read Dear White Christians, which provides a thorough background and basis for understanding the history of race relations in the church and concrete suggestions to move forward as people of faith.
As a help, the planning team will offer this session where pastors can come together to discuss ideas and explore avenues to effectively approach the subject of race and white privilege with their congregations. Resources will be shared, along with the experience of those who have successfully helped their congregation address racism.
To register or ask any questions, please contact Rev. Ed Horne at or Rev. Doug Cunningham at
We hope to see our pastors on January 10 as we seek to begin to heal the hurt that is still too much with us.