Everyone in your church – leaders to laity, adults to children – can participate in the work of anti-racism. Use these books, DVDs, and online resources to involve everyone in creating an anti-racist church.
Keep reading to see recommended resources for:
- Small Groups
- Worship Team
- Anti-Racism Team
- Conversation Hosts
- Lifelong Learners
- Parents & Caregivers
- Youth & Children
Everyone who prays can participate in Discipleship Ministries’ Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism. You can sign up to receive these prayers in email or view them on the website.
“Dismantling racism is not a short-term task but a lifelong moving forward to perfection in love—to use founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley’s words . . . . The Worship Team of Discipleship Ministries believes, however, that such a change will not happen unless the whole process is bathed in prayer every step along the way. To that end, we will continue to provide daily prayers to help keep us all centered on the ongoing journey of transformation.”Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Give these resources to your existing small groups, or start a new small group that will study racism by meeting people where they are. Are they skeptical of the need for this study? Do they wonder why the church is talking about this? Are they ready to take action?
Justice or Just Us? The Biblical Call to Confront Racism (DVD) by Rob Fuquay, Nicole Caldwell-Gross, and Jevon Caldwell-Gross. This DVD study helps you acknowledge the reality of racism in our world today, as well as our Christian responsibility to oppose it as individuals and together as the church.
Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love (DVD) by William H. Willimon. Willimon brings a non-technical, Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for people of faith to do: keeping and loving the Other as Other.
How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice (DVD) by Jemar Tisby. Tisby offers viewers an array of actionable items to help them become proactive initiators of racial justice. Tisby is also the author of another excellent DVD study for small groups, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism.
Dialogues On Race (DVD). Eight topics are packed with well-researched information but brought to life with the lived experience and stories of people at the center of the topic.
On This Spirit Walk: The Voices of Native American and Indigenous Peoples by Henrietta Mann and Anita Phillips. Discussion questions for multicultural groups are included at the end of each of the twelve essays by Native American United Methodist writers.
Race and Christianity in the United States (Online) by Sarah Ruble. Focusing on the history of black/white relations in the U.S., this video series considers how race and Christianity have interacted, for good and for ill. It offers a narrative that helps to answer the question, “how did we get here?”
There are many great resources that help preachers and lay speakers address racism from the pulpit. Learn from those who have gone before and pick up new skills and techniques for prophetic preaching.
Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism by Will Willimon. This book uses the true story of pastor Hawley Lynn’s 1947 sermon, a response to the last lynching in Greenville, South Carolina, to help pastors preach on race and violence in America, inviting and challenging the church to respond.
Preaching in the Midst of … How Black Preaching has Changed in the COVID-19 Pandemic by Amiri B. Hooker. A fierce challenge to rise up and embrace prophetic, transformative preaching, this book guides readers toward a new paradigm for bringing the gospel message with relevance, authority, and truth.
Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair by Otis Moss III. Moss beautifully and passionately brings to life biblical characters that speak to today’s pressing issues, including race discrimination and police brutality, while maintaining a strong message of hope.
How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon: Preaching and Moral Imagination by Frank A. Thomas. This book equips and empowers preachers to transcend their basic skills and techniques so that their proclamation of the Word causes actual turnaround in the hearts and lives of their hearers and in their communities.
Those Preaching Women: A Multicultural Collection edited by Ella Pearson Mitchell and Valerie Bridgeman Davis. This treasure trove includes the unfettered, creative exchange of sacred rhetoric by God’s women from every tribe, nation, and language group.
The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America by Richard Lischer. Here is a complex human being who, unlike any other preacher in living memory, never gave up trying to shape a congregation of people that would be capable of redeeming the moral and political character of a nation.
GCORR Real Talk: Preaching Courageously Against Racism (Online). In this video, Rev. Stephanie Vader, Rev. Kil Jae Park, Rev. Dr. Jay Williams, and Rev. Dr. Larry Pickens have a conversation about what it means to preach courageously against racism in our world today.
Multicultural worship offers new ways for your church to experience God’s presence. Use these resources to educate your congregation about different worship styles and expand your hospitality to other cultures.
A Worship Workbook: A Practical Guide for Extraordinary Liturgy by Gerald C. Liu & Khalia J. Williams. This book introduces crucial and under-examined liturgical and social concepts for students and leaders of worship.
Worship Together in Your Church as in Heaven by Josh Davis and Nikki Lerner. The authors offer an empathetic, step-by-step approach, providing readers with knowledge, skills, and strategies to successfully introduce inclusive, multicultural worship in any setting.
Worshiping with United Methodists: A Guide for Pastors and Church Leaders by Hoyt L. Hickman. This revision highlights the African-American contribution to UM worship, discusses at greater length what the various worship styles mean for us today, says more about the formative nature of worship, and includes updated resources.
Reflect Reclaim Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music (DVD). Filmed on location in Methodist churches where the oldest living African American music is still sung, viewers come to understand the key role that spirituals played in liberating a people who had little more than a song.
Fiesta Cristiana: Recursos para la Adoración by Joel Martinez and Raquel Martinez. This bilingual collection of worship services can be used with Hispanic congregations. It not only contains traditional worship services but also features services special to the Hispanic culture.
For Everyone Born: Global Songs for an Emerging Church by Christopher Heckert and Jorge Lockward. This collection of twenty-three songs represents eighteen countries or people groups. It is accessible to all congregations, providing a diverse offering of songs that reflect the different moods and actions of worship.
The Pentecost Challenge (Online). Discipleship Ministries offers these liturgical resources for the church to decenter and dismantle whiteness, colonialism, and patriarchy in Christian worship.
Even if you don’t have a formal anti-racism team, the leadership of your church can use these resources to address anti-racism on a systemic level and consider how your church can become an anti-racist church.
I’m Black. I’m Christian. I’m Methodist. edited by Rudy Rasmus. Ten Black women and men explore life through the lens of compelling personal religious narratives.
Multi: The Chemistry of Church Diversity by Paul Nixon. Paul Nixon invites congregations to study — and increase — the diversity of their relationships and ministries.
There’s a Storm Comin’: How the American Church Can Lead Through Times of Racial Crisis by Harold Dorrell Briscoe Jr. Drawing from current sociological, psychological, and political research, Dorrell makes the case that the church must take proactive measures to prepare for racialized crises.
United Against Racism: Churches for Change by The National Council of the Churches in the USA. This resource aims to support churches, communions, and those who endeavor to share the journey of the Christian faith in the pursuit of an unfinished agenda to embody a more excellent way of racial equity.
Being the Church in a Multi-Ethnic Community: Why It Matters and How It Works by Gary L. McIntosh, Alan McMahan. This book is an introductory guide, a basic primer for pastors and congregation leaders who are wrestling with how to reach the ethnic groups next door and welcome them into the multi-ethnic body of Christ.
Pentecost Journey: A Planning Guide for Non-Hispanic/Latino Congregations (DVD) by Marigene Chamberlain and Melanie Lee Carey. This resource is intended to help congregations, districts, and conferences fulfill Christ’s mandate to make disciples, with a particular focus on helping local churches understand issues related to developing a ministry with Hispanics/Latinos.
Use these resources to host a conversation in your church about racism. Begin with a workshop or start an ongoing series to get your church talking about the reality of racism in the church and our society.
Holding Up Your Corner: Talking about Race in Your Community (DVD) by F. Willis Johnson. This DVD study walks you through a self-directed process of determining what role your church can play in your specific community for racial justice.
Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White People Talk Faithfully About Racism by Carolyn B. Helsel. Helsel draws on her success with white congregations to offer insight and tools to embrace, explore and work through the anxious feelings that often arise in these hard conversations.
Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together by Elizabeth Hagan. This book seeks to help readers create “brave spaces” in congregations and faith communities so that sharing stories and intentional listening can occur.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.
Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice by Gregory C. Ellison II. Ellison and his team create conversations among community members who have never spoken to one another, the goals of which are real, implementable, and lasting changes to the life of the community.
Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North (DVD). Filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide. A discussion guide can be downloaded.
Some members of your congregation may be ready to learn more about the history of race and culture in our country. These books can be read in discussion groups or by individuals who want a deeper understanding of racial issues.
Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Grappling seriously with troubling history and theology, Wilson-Hartgrove recovers the subversiveness of the gospel that sustained the church through centuries of slavery and oppression, from the civil rights era to the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond.
Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity by Robert Chao Romero. For five hundred years, Latina/o culture and identity have been shaped by their challenges to the religious, socio-economic, and political status quo. Walking through this history of activism and faith, readers will discover that Latina/o Christians have a heart after God’s own.
Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers. Part memoir, part social, historical, and theological analysis, and part practical workbook, this process invites settler Christians (and other people of faith) into a discipleship of decolonization.
America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis. Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians–particularly white Christians–urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
What Does It Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin DiAngelo. Speaking as a white person to other white people, DiAngelo clearly and compellingly takes readers through an analysis of white socialization and provides the framework needed to develop white racial literacy.
Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas. Douglas examines the myths and narratives underlying a “stand-your-ground” culture, taking seriously the social as well as the theological questions raised by this and similar events, from Ferguson, Missouri to Staten Island, New York.
Some of your church members may be ready to take action against racism. These resources offer concrete and practical steps to help groups and individuals affect change.
Subversive Witness: Scripture’s Call to Leverage Privilege (DVD) by Dominique DuBois Gilliard. By embodying Scripture’s subversive call to leverage–and at times forsake–privilege, you will learn to love your neighbors sacrificially, enact systemic change, and grow more Christlike as a citizen of God’s kingdom.
Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now by Brenda Salter McNeil. This book offers a distinctly Christian framework for addressing systemic injustice. It challenges Christians to be everyday activists who become brave enough to break the silence and work with others to dismantle systems of injustice and inequality.
Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out by Walter Brueggemann. Examining how maintaining silence allows the powerful to keep control, Brueggemann motivates readers to consider situations in their lives where they need to either interrupt silence or be part of the problem, convincing us that God is active and wanting us to act for justice.
Creating Change Together: A Toolkit for Faithful Civic Engagement (Online) by The General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church. Within these pages, you will find the biblical and United Methodist grounding for civic engagement as well as strategies and tactics that you can do as an individual or group to pursue the common good.
Acting Against Racism: Conversation Guide (Online) by The Christian Century. This 14-page downloadable guide offers articles from the Century’s archives, study questions meant to spark thought and conversation, and specific actions steps to pursue.
30 Days of Anti-Racism (Online) by The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church. Engage in an activity each day that helps us become more anti-racist in how we think and act.
Being an Ally with People of Color (Online) by The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church. This video from the Vital Conversations series features Katelin Hansen, Director of Experiential Learning for the faith-based nonprofit, Community Development for All People, and Minister of Music for the United Methodist Church for All People, a multirace and multiclass church in Columbus, OH.
Every individual in your church can take steps in their own lives against racism. These resources share personal stories and encourage building communities that help to create a more just and compassionate world.
Individuals and small groups should also consider taking the online courses offered by The General Commission on Religion and Race. These self-paced courses include:
- Anti-Racism 101: Required Skills for White People Who Want to be Allies
- You Are Here: First Steps for White Christians on Race and Racism
- Implicit Bias: What We Don’t Think We Think
Black & White: Disrupting Racism One Friendship at a Time by Teesha Hadra and John Hambrick. Authors Teesha Hadra, a young African American woman, and John Hambrick, a 60-year-old white man, use their story of friendship to show how racism can be disrupted when we risk forging friendships with those who do not look like us.
Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures by Michelle Ami Reyes. Reyes offers a poignant discussion on the challenges surrounding cross-cultural relationships in America today. She focuses on the concept of cultural accommodation in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 and looks at the ways in which we need to adapt who we are in order to become all things to all people.
The Colors of Culture: The Beauty of Diverse Friendships by MelindaJoy Mingo. Through vivid stories spanning several countries, Mingo shows the beauty of diverse friendships in her life. She takes risks and learns from her mistakes, recognizing that relationships are worth the cost.
Faithful Friendships: Embracing Diversity in Christian Community by Dana L. Robert. Robert tells the stories of Christians who, despite or even because of difficult circumstances, experienced friendship with people unlike themselves as “God with us,” as exile, as testimony, and as celebration.
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.
All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way by Patrice Gopo. In this poetic and often courageous collection of essays, Patrice examines the complexities of identity in our turbulent yet hopeful time of intersecting heritages.
The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong by Karen González. Immigration advocate Karen González recounts her family’s migration from the instability of Guatemala to making a new life in the United States. Here, too, is the sweeping epic of immigrants and refugees in Scripture.
Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God by Kaitlin B. Curtice. As Curtice shares what it means to experience her faith through the lens of her Indigenous heritage, she reveals that a vibrant spirituality has its origins in identity, belonging, and a sense of place.
Parents & Caregivers
Parents and leaders of youth and children can use these resources to talk with young people about race, diversity, and multiculturalism in ways that they can understand and make a difference.
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey. This book helps parents, teachers, and churches enter into a dialogue about the impact of racism on our children and offers guidance for sharing our commitment to equity and justice.
The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Embrace Our Differences by Carolyn B. Helsel & Y. Joy Harris-Smith. This book includes specific resources and activities for younger and older children that parents and community leaders can employ to encourage compassion and empathy.
Hand in Hand: Helping Children Embrace Diversity by Faith Alive Christian Resources. Help children in grades K-6 learn to appreciate and celebrate the diversity in God’s family with this flexible five-session course.
The Multicultural Game Book: More than 70 Traditional Games from 30 Countries by Louise Orlando. These games are not complicated and do not require special equipment. The country of origin and a history of the game is included.
Crafts of Many Cultures: 30 Authentic Craft Projects From Around the World by Aurelia Gomez. Crafts are a universal language of cultural expression. The country of origin and a description of the craft is included with directions. We also have The Kids’ Multicultural Art Book: Arts & Craft Experiences from Around the World.
Deep Blue Life: Faith and Culture—Anti-Racism (Online) by Cokesbury Kids. This downloadable curriculum offers three sessions teaching about “Prejudice and Stereotypes,” “Curiosity and Empathy,” and “Colors and Cultures.”
Youth & Children
These stories can be read or viewed by youth and children to help them learn about the concept of race and our shared racial history.
How to Fight Racism: A Guide to Standing up for Racial Justice: Young Reader’s Edition by Jemar Tisby with Josh Mosey. Tisby helps kids ages 8-12 understand how everyday prejudice affects them and what they can do to create social change. We also have a Young Reader’s Edition of Let Justice Roll Down by John M. Perkins with Priscilla Perkins.
Walking in These White Man Shoes: Youth Explore Native America by Ray Buckley. This mission study includes narratives of the history of what is now the United States told from a Native American perspective. We also have a children’s version of this study, Creator Sang a Welcoming Song: Native America for Children.
The Harriet Tubman Story (DVD). Discover how Harriet followed God, became the Moses of her people, and persevered despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles in this latest episode of The Torchlighters.
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford. The Beatitudes — from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount — form the backdrop for Carole Boston Weatherford’s powerful free-verse poem that traces the African American journey from slavery to civil rights.
Luis y Mia / Mia and Luis by Mónica Reyna and L.J. Zimmerman. This flip-over book for ages 6-9 tells the story of a cross-cultural friendship from each child’s perspective. Both stories are in English and Spanish.
All The Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka. Inspired by her own two children’s multi-ethnic heritage, Hamanaka uses soaring text and beautiful art to celebrate the glorious diversity of children laughing, loving, and glowing with life.
God Makes Us Different by Helen Caswell. Despite differences in personality and physical traits, all people are the same in many important ways. This picture book shows young readers that even though we are different, all of us are beautiful and special in God’s eyes.
Don’t Forget: A Video Book for Kids about Racism and the Kingdom of God (Online) by Leanne Hadley. United Methodist Pastor Leanne Hadley offers this online video book and three-session curriculum.