Associate Conference Minister for Communications
Together as one, the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences are asking people to make contributions in support of Racial Justice Ministries on #GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017.
#GivingTuesday is a global effort of small businesses, corporations, non-profits, and individuals to harness the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to celebrate generosity.
The three conferences, which are moving toward joining together to form a unified conference, first engaged in #GivingTuesday together last year, and raised more than $4,500 for racial justice ministries. Conference leaders hope to double that this year.
The drive to unmask, dismantle, and eradicate racism has been a focus in the three Conferences, and is lifted up as a priority in the new Vision statement for a unified Conference.
"Our joint effort between our three conferences to eradicate racism demonstrates our collective power to make a difference," said Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi. ""#GivingTuesday is a way for us to affirm our commitment to address the personal and systemic issues that exist in our society and in our churches. We have made a commitment to the ongoing work as people of faith who are called to work towards a more just world." TJ Harper serves as the Racial Justice Associate for both the Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences.
"We are called to be the Church at this critical time when racism runs rampant in our country," Harper said. "We are reminded in Micah 6:8 that the Lord requires us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. We need financial support to propel our initiatives. Although we have faith in God that one day we will see a more just world where racism has been eradicated, we realize that faith without works is dead -- and that we need financial support to do God's work."
The Connecticut Conference initially developed programs around sacred conversations and racial justice training, and since that time, 60 Massachusetts churches, 20 Connecticut churches and 2 Rhode Island churches have completed a racial justice training or sacred conversation. In addition, two sacred conversations were held with confirmation classes in the Rhode Island Conference, and trainings and conversations have also been held with the three Boards of Directors and the numerous Conference staff members, including the entire summer staff at the Silver Lake Conference Center. The Connecticut Conference has held numerous youth programs that addressed the topic of racism, and the Rhode Island Conference has been using theater and literature, including trips to see“To Kill a Mockingbird,” to take up the topic.
Harper said that with more support, Conferences will be able to increase the number of racial justice facilitators, create grants for research and local church initiatives, and update the Racial Justice repository of resources.
Scheduled to follow Thanksgiving and the popular shopping dates of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,#GivingTuesday kicks off the giving season and encourages people to support local causes and make an impact on their communities.
Donations can be made on November 28, #GivingTuesday, by visiting TogetherAs1.org. Donors are encouraged to bookmark the page, set the date in a calendar, create a reminder and come back on Tuesday, Nov. 28 to make your donation to support Racial Justice Ministries.