Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

S.C. religious leaders tapped to combat racism

COLUMBIA—It should be the duty of the Christian faith community to take the lead in combatting racism in our society.

That was the call to action brought forth by theologian and author, Drew G.I. Hart, Ph.D., at the fall dialogue of The Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops’ on Oct. 15 at Shandon United Methodist Church.

Formerly known as LARCUM, the coalition of Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Methodist bishops was recently expanded to include the African Methodist Episcopal Church and other Protestant denominations and is now known as the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops.

“If we’re going to be serious about confronting racism in any sphere, we have to be committed first as Christians to getting to the root of it and not just being well intentioned,” said Hart, author of “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism.”

“Until the racial hierarchy is flattened, there will continue to be these really terrible moments in which people cannot come as shared human beings; followers who should be leaders to step up and be the ones to lead the conversation,” he continued.

The subtitle of Hart’s book, “Changing the Way the Church Views Racism,” was adopted as the theme of the dialogue.

Speaking before nearly 100 clergy and lay people representing several denominations, Hart, 35, an assistant professor in theology at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa., delivered a powerful three part presentation. He recalled his experiences being the only African-American male on his dormitory floor in college, and spoke on everything from inequality in education funding and opportunities to the history of slavery, white privilege, and police brutality.

“It will take some renewed minds to be able to once again recognize what God desires for his creation,” Hart said.

“I think there’s a great opportunity here for us to both present our bodies in sacrifices and also to have renewed minds in the midst of the racialized patterns that exist in our society,” he continued.

After each presentation, attendees gathered in small groups for 15-minute sessions to discuss questions listed at the end of each section.

“This was a very substantive presentation,” said Father Sandy McDonald, pastor at St. John Neumann Church in Columbia.

“(Hart) provided a very helpful framework to understand the dynamics and difficulties and challenges of racism and how it applies to education, and how it applies to the call of the Church to respond. We need to hear the story of racism anew today and seek to understand it. It’s very complex, it’s very fraught, it’s painful and it’s necessary,” Father McDonald said.

By Chip Lupo / Special to The Miscellany

File photo: Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone greets participants at an ecumenical prayer service in January 2017.




Diocesan Events Calendar
View All Events
Feb 177:15 pm Bishop to be Honoree at 75th Fourth Degree Exemplification Banquet - Columbia, SC
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Feb 188:30 am Diaconate Formation Class
From the Calendar of Diaconate
Feb 19 PRESIDENTS DAY No School
From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
Presidents Day No School
From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
NO SCHOOL - Presidents Day Holiday
From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
No School-Presidents Day
From the Calendar of Summerville Catholic School
Faculty In-service
From the Calendar of St. Paul the Apostle School Spartanburg
Presidents' Day/No School
From the Calendar of St. Peter School Columbia
Presidents DayNO SCHOOL
From the Calendar of St. Peter School Beaufort
No School Presidents Day
From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
Presidents Day Holiday **No School**
From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
Presidents Day - School Closed
From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Anderson
Presidents Day - No school
From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Columbia
No school -holiday
From the Calendar of St. Mary Help of Christians Aiken
Presidents Day NO SCHOOL / No Extended Care Available
From the Calendar of St. John Neumann School Columbia
Presidents Day-no school
From the Calendar of St. Anthony of Padua School Greenville
Presidents Day No School
From the Calendar of St. Anne School Rock Hill
Presidents Day, No school
From the Calendar of Blessed Sacrament Charleston
No School Presidents Day
From the Calendar of Charleston Catholic School
Presidents Day No school
From the Calendar of Divine Redeemer