Racial Justice and Anti-Poverty

Position Statement

 

Adopted June 16, 2020 by the Session of The House of Hope Presbyterian Church.

The Anti-Racism Task Force of The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (PTCA) describes their purpose being:  “To identify and eliminate racist narratives, practices procedures, structures, etc. within the PTCA and equip and empower congregations and congregational leaders to do likewise in their churches and communities.”

The Peace and Justice Committee supports actions by The House of Hope Presbyterian Church and its members to educate and evaluate ourselves on developing and practicing policies that achieve racial justice and reduce poverty.  

Scriptural Rational

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:27 

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:19

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:28-31

Action Plan

 Education: To educate ourselves and others on what it means to promote anti-racist policies, procedures and attitudes by:

  • Participating in education and trainings offered by the PTCA as available.
  • Have discussions with other congregations on what they have done to address racial justice and poverty issues within their congregations and communities.
  • Collaborate with and follow recommendations of the PTCA Anti-Racism Task Force.
  • Explore what it means to be a Matthew 25 congregation within the Presbyterian Church USA.
  • Provide Adult Education sessions on racial justice and anti-poverty issues.

Advocacy:  To identify, explore and advocate for policies and practices within The House of Hope Presbyterian Church and local government that are anti-racist and anti-poverty by:

  • Participating in an institutional assessment as developed by the PTCA.
  • Exploring policies and practices exclusionary to some groups due to historic, systemic racial practices, policies and attitudes and perpetuating poverty caused by structural inequalities in our church polity/practices and society, which impact church members and members of the community in which we live.
  • Dismantling structural racism by identifying and making changes to any procedures, policies and practices that may be disenfranchising people from full participation in activities of the church.
  • Advocating for local policies and laws that promote justice and eliminate negative impacts on people of color and/or living in poverty.

If you would like to become involved with the Peace and Justice Committee to work on racial justice and anti-poverty issues, please contact one of the following: Leslie Erickson at 612-481-0424 or leslie.erickson52@gmail.com; Michael Nord, at 612-384-7675 or mnord@amerion.com; or Mary Cardinal Peterson at 651-341-7173 or PeteCardFive@outlook.com.  We greatly appreciate your interest and involvement.

References:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website: 

Dismantling structural racism – https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/matthew-25/racism/

Matthew 25 – https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/matthew-25/scripture/  

Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (PTCA):

Presbytery Stated Meeting Packet for January 25, 2020 meeting – https://ptcaweb.org/images/Documents/Packets/1-25-2020_PACKET_ONE_AND_TWO.pdf

   Report from the Anti- Racism Task Force, pages 9-10

   Presbytery Leadership Team’s Report on the Institutional Assessment, pages 97-98