Racial justice is a core value at UCCH, and efforts to grow into our Racial Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Covenant are taking place throughout the church. You can show your interest and apply these values through a wide variety of programs or groups. With the launch of the Spreading Justice initiative, it seemed like a good time to share about groups specifically focused on advancing racial justice in our church.
Racial Justice Ministries (RJM) committee
RJM is a new committee under the Board of Justice, Outreach, and Service (BJOS), launched in Fall 2019 to build on the early efforts of a similar committee in 2016. RJM works in collaboration with other groups both within and outside the church, to identify and help implement ways that UCCH can live more fully into its Racial Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Covenant.
Recent projects include establishing a new UCCH scholarship through the NAACP, the Spreading Justice initiative to help address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, and a Racial Justice Guiding Questions tool which helps all church groups apply a racial justice lens when making decisions.
Sacred Conversations on Race (SCOR) class
Our UCC denomination started Sacred Conversations on Race (SCOR) in 2008, and United Church of Chapel Hill has participated from the beginning. The SCOR group has had a variety of roles in the past, but now that the Racial Justice Ministries committee is in place to handle planning and organization for racial justice initiatives within UCCH, SCOR has been able to focus on being a class and discussion forum for those who are interested in engaging more deeply with issues of race and racism.
Everyone is welcome to participate in the SCOR class, even if intermittently, regardless of where you are in your journey to understand and work against racism. You are welcome even if you are just starting to think more deeply about these issues. “Mistakes” are welcome, because everyone in the group benefits from learning more. We seek to honor each person, wherever they are in understanding the impact of racism in their lives, our community and our world.
July 11, 2016 Community Forum “A Healing Discussion on Race & America”
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC community comes together to share, listen, grieve and comfort each other as they deal with their emotions and feelings about the July 2016 police shootings of two black men and the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers.
2016 Racial Truth Justice and Reconciliation Covenant
At its 105th Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 5, 2016, the congregation of United Church of Chapel Hill, committed itself to a Racial Truth Justice and Reconciliation Covenant.
In 2008 the United Church of Chapel Hill began having Sacred Conversations on Race which blossomed into hosting two-day Racial Equity Institute workshops, having numerous Sunday school forums, participating in Moral Mondays, hosting the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus of Trinity UCC, in Chicago, in September 2015 to speak and preach about racial justice and invited the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ in April 2016 to speak and preach about white privilege.
One of the goals of this multi-year initiative was to craft a covenant that would serve not as a closing statement but as a promissory note for the new community United Church of Chapel Hill is becoming. In March 2016 the congregation was invited to a Saturday morning retreat to draft a covenant. The draft was then circulated to all the boards of the church before coming to the Church Council for approval prior to forwarding the covenant to the congregation. It was approved unanimously at the congregation’s 2016 Annual Meeting on June 5, 2016.
United Church of Chapel Hill is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. The UCC is “a church of firsts:” first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. The United Church of Christ was in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. The United Church of Christ is also a church that practices inclusion and radical hospitality with its campaign that “God is still speaking.”
Racial Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Covenant
Trusting in the grace of God that overflows with faith and love,
we acknowledge that we have constructed and sustained the false concept of race,
with systemic racism embedded in our nation, institutions, and selves.
Therefore, we seek to transform ourselves, our church, and our world.
Recognizing that God shows no partiality and made us all of one blood,
we confess that we
use race to advantage some and disadvantage others,
focus on individual prejudice rather than on unjust systems,
perpetuate the oppression, legacy, and effects of racism
through our indifference or complicity, and
deny that overcoming racism is a spiritual struggle.
Therefore, we recognize our need to be forgiven and to forgive.
As Jesus did not count equality with God as something to be exploited but humbled himself,
to listen, learn, and walk in humility
to better understand and repair the evils of racism.
As we journey together, there is no one to whom
we can say, ‘we have no need of you.’
We appeal to you, brothers and sisters, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God —
With God’s help we covenant
learn and speak the truth about racism,
work for racial justice and equity,
structure the common life of the United Church of Chapel Hill
to embody the gifts of all,
participate in the transformation of our racialized world and, in so doing,
reconcile ourselves to God and to each other.
We give thanks and praise to God for our redemption
and the promise of our life together made new.
 1 Timothy 1:12-17
 Acts 10:34
 Acts 17:26, KJV
 Philippians 3:1-8, passage in Paul lifts up the radical humility of Jesus
 1 Corinthians 12, passage in which Paul affirms the diversity of the community and the gifts of each and all
 Romans 12:1-3
Racial Justice Workshop – April 23, 2016 with Reverend Dr. John Dorhauer
Racial Justice Workshop April 23 & 24, 2016 with Reverend Dr. John Dorhauer
Saturday, April 23 – Lecture Part 1
Saturday, April 23 – Lecture Part 2
Sunday, April 24 – Reverend John Dorhauer Sermon
Worship with Reverend D. Jeremiah Wright – Sunday, September 20, 2015
Worship Services September 20 2015 – Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright
Sunday, September 20 – 8:45 am Sermon
Sunday, September 20 – 11 am Sermon
Racial Equity Workshops and Organizing Against Racism
The Racial Equity Institute – Anti-Racism Workshops
Race remains an important indicator of success in U.S. society. When other factors that are cited as the probable reasons for health or social problems (e.g., income, education, parent involvement, access to health insurance) are controlled for in statistical analyses, race remains an important independent predictor of health, social, education, criminal justice and other outcomes.
The Anti-Racism training, delivered by the Racial Equity Institute, LL,C is designed to build the capacity of educators, health practitioners, child welfare advocates, judicial representatives, other professionals and others who are interested in understanding and eliminating racial inequities, disparities and dis-proportionality within our society. These workshops are important for people of color and white people who want to dismantle racism. It has often been said, “An organized truth is more powerful than a disorganized lie.” These workshops provide an analysis that helps participants gain clarity about how racism is well-organized and at work in our institutional practices.
The Organizing Against Racism (OAR) network invites people to attend 2-day Racial Equity Institute (REI) Anti-Racism workshops held around the Triangle, including United Church.