Racism is still a problem – right here in Lycoming County as well as throughout our wonderful country. It is all too easy to look in the mirror and think, I’m not the problem It is all too easy to look at someone over there and say that they are the problem. But the truth is we are all the problem and we all must be part of the answer. We must all stand up and say that racism must stop – right here with you and me. That means we must be part of the solution – not must today but every day. Not just for the summer, but every day of our lives.
Twenty nine years ago, when I began this job as executive director at United Churches of Lycoming County, the Ku Klux Klan wanted to hold a public gathering in Williamsport then too. It happens periodically and each time it does, we at United Churches, dust off the original resolution that for us seems to state our feelings well.
Whereas all people are created equal by God,
And Whereas that equality was affirmed by the mission and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And Whereas our daily activities enable us to strengthen our community so that it offers peace, justice and dignity for all people.
And Whereas racism is a moral evil which divides the human family by denying the innate dignity and God given
rights of every person and is therefore a betrayal of the most essential values of our religious heritage,
And Whereas racism invades and devastates social structures and through them is perpetuated and transmitted to new generations,
Therefore be it resolved that the Board of Directors of the United Churches of Lycoming County has adopted this statement of unity at the April 18, 1991 meeting.
Be it further resolved that we repudiated any organization whose actions promote division and unrest in our community, and is grounded upon the false and destructive tenets that claim that some people are inherently superior or inferior because of their ethnic origin, language, or religious belief,
Be it further resolved that we rededicate ourselves to break down our own personal prejudices and those of our community and consciously promote racial, ethnic and religious harmony through a community wide effort.
We will reaffirm this resolution at our next board meeting and will also do everything we can to help our community with an alternate event. We have also been known to restate the resolution for people of more faiths and no faith, who want to sign on to it but are not of a Christian background.
But most importantly we will recommit ourselves to paying closer attention to all our actions and interactions, working to insure that each strengthens our community, offers peace, justice and dignity to each and every person, and gives glory to God our creator.
I invite you to join us in showing every day that you love our neighbors… every one.