Church and Mass Protest Actions : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

The city of Durban (South Africa) has been busy with people from across the world convening to participate in various formal fora of the UN's World Conference Against Racism, since last week. Today, the intergovernmental conference is formally closing with various issues still contended, especially those relating to the Israel (Jews) and racism.

Especially Friday, last week, we saw thousands taking to the streets under the umbrella of the Druban Social Forum. Leading the march were leaders from a variety of social formations, including Rabbis and a South African Catholic Bishop (viz., Bishop Kevin Dowling). Except for him, one saw no Church leadership among the people who were raising concerns regarding issues that adversely impact on their lives and the environment and demands for their restoration . If you like, those issues included environmental racism, pollution and degradation, privatisation, economic exclusion, economic and slavery reparations, etc.

I have heard so many denominations stating their preference for the poor, marginalised, excluded and impoverished - count the AME Church in. I saw the poor filling the streets decrying systems that impoverish them. But, I saw one Church Leader among the poor, walking with them to the centre of power.

Why is it that such is common among Christian? That is, saying one thing and doing another. Or, as it were, speak left and act right. Why is it?

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001


Rev. Klaas,

I share your concern. If you are correct, not one A.M.E. Bishop in attendance and fully participating at this conference, then our church missed a major opportunity to witness for Christ. We missed a major opportunity on the world stage to stand up against racism and oppression, whether that racism and oppression be political, economic, social, environmental, etc. We not only missed an opportunity to stand against, but we also missed an opportunity to shape change in these areas and to fulfill our mission and purpose as a church(see mission and purpose of the church on page 13 of the new discipline). Likewise we missed an opportunity to bring life to the ten guidelines included in the Episcopal Saluatation (page two of the new discipline).

I trust that many attendant critical issues prevented our Ecumenical Officer and the Bishops on the Continent of Africa from attending. Let us pray that we are more watchful in the future. Although idealistic, I believe that the Lord has a role for us to play in this arena.

Having said all of the above, I trust and pray that there were other A.M.E.s (pastors, ministers and members) in attandance and making a difference.

Continue Praying!!!

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001

Are we absolutely sure none of the AME Bishops were in attendance? It is possible that one of our bishops attended the conference, yet they were not asked to speak! Let's check on that.

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Thank you Sis Joyce and Rev Wade, for your responses. Bishop Richardson was briefly at the site of the conference, an important conference indeed. And, indeed, there were Pastors and members of the Church in and around Durban. They participated, to large degree, in the formal meetings and caucuses of the non-governmental forum - that is the centre, not the periphery. That space, too, has to be occupied.

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

I personally spoke with Bishop Richardson several weeks before the start of the special UN Conference on Racism and he indicated to me he would be attending. I look forward to a constructive dialogue with him about the "deadlock" reported on yesterday. QED

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ