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The Ohio Council of Churches Calls for October 15, 2023 to be Observed as Anti-Racism Sunday in Ohio

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

For Immediate Release September 15, 2023 For the third time since 2020, the Ohio Council of Churches is asking Ohio congregations to join together in publicly declaring racism to be a sin. With October 15, 2023 identified as “Anti-Racism Sunday,” members of Ohio congregations will use prayers, sermons, litanies, and lessons to make it clear that racism is a sin and is not compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. They will also use this particular Sunday to share at least one congregational ministry or service through which racism is being disrupted or dismantled.

“We believe Jesus came to offer abundant life, a flourishing life to all of humanity, said the Council’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. “Racism is a public health threat that is in clear and active opposition to the values and vision of Jesus Christ. We Christians are compelled by the love of God to detect, disrupt, and dismantle racism in all of its forms.”

With reports of racism-motivated domestic terrorism on the increase, the Council feels that now is the time for Christians of all races and zip codes to speak up and act out against racism, as motivated by the love of God.

"The command of Christ to notice and respond to the ache of our neighbors compels us to undo the effects of our country's long history of racism. This requires acknowledging its enduring reality and also working concretely to transform systems that perpetuate its effects in the lives of so many, stated Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins, the Council’s Governing Board President and Conference Minister of the Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ. “Anti-Racism Sunday gifts us with a sacred pause to remember, reflect, and recommit to this vital work."

The Council’s Anti-Racism Team has produced a list of anti-racism worship resources for use on October 15 and beyond. It can be found here, Anti-Racism | OH Council Churches (ohcouncilchs.org). In addition, the Team will offer a pre-recorded anti-racism-themed worship service featuring a sermon by noted Baptist pastor and justice advocate, Rev. Dr. Renee Wormack-Keels. “We are pleased to announce that our recorded Anti-Racism worship service will be available on October 9 via the Council’s Facebook page and website,” remarked Cheryl Cattledge, co-convener of the Anti-Racism Team. To register your congregation for the October 15 observance of Anti-Racism Sunday, please use this link https://forms.gle/dVqsUL5z3xGZE2VKA How has your congregation confronted racism? What anti-racism stories can you share? If your congregation has anti-racism experiences to share, please send them to the Council at info@ohcouncilchs.org. "The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail declared himself an extremist for love, truth, goodness, and justice,” said Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, the Council’s Associate Director. "On Anti-Racism Sunday, let all Ohioans declare that they are joining Dr. King in being a non-violent extremist to eliminate every vestige of racism in our society."

For more information, message Deanna Fouchè-Baldwin at info@ohcouncilchs.org or 614.372.8010.​

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