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Grace United Church of Christ, Houston Texas

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'Into the Mystic' is the Rev. John C. Dorhauer's weekly podcast on UCC.org. The United Church of Christ General Minister and President is creating these weekly messages so that "the art and practice of spiritual reflection is modeled as a priority and not just a part time avocation."

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"Why I Protest" by Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries

What it is: In this video, Rev. Traci Blackmon explains why she engages in protests to oppose the injustices created by systems of white supremacy.

How to use it: Share this on your church’s Facebook page by right-clicking on the video, copying the video URL, and pasting it into the post section. Use this video as a discussion tool for your church and your church’s Facebook page. Discuss why showing up for protests against racism is important and why so many groups use protesting as a means of pushing for change.

The Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery

A Biblical Reflection

As part of the implementation of the General Synod 29 resolution, the joint working group of Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM) and Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) offer this resource for our churches to take up with prayer. To download the study, click HERE. Additional video resources:
 
For an introduction to the topic, see the video clip "Discovered, or Stolen?" For the history of the Doctrine of Discovery, see here for a 18-min. presentation by Dr. Roxanne Gould, All Nations Church UCC, Minneapolis, MN. See the same video (starting at the 18:40 mark) for Doctrine of Discovery and being a "pilgrim" today, a 10-min. mediation by the Rev. Emily Goldthwaite Fries.


Many Americans grow up learning that this continent was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. The concept of discovery, as if the land was empty prior to arrival and its indigenous inhabitants were somehow “less than” the explorers is, at its heart, racism and cultural superiority. 

The doctrine of discovery, a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, originated from various church documents in Christian Europe in the mid-1400s to justify the pattern of domination and oppression by European monarchies as they invasively arrived in the Western hemisphere.  It theologically asserted the right to claim the indigenous lands, territories, and resources on behalf of Christendom, and to subjugate native peoples around the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court used the doctrine to assert that the United States, as the successor of Great Britain, had inherited authority over all lands within our claimed boundaries. This decision allowed our government to legally ignore or invalidate any native claims to property and resources. To this day courts continue to cite this legal precedent. It is still being used by courts to decide property rights cases brought by Native Americans against the U.S. and against non-Natives.

The repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery by General Synod 29 provides an invaluable teaching moment for our congregations to understand systemic and continuous impact of racism on the daily lives of indigenous peoples in the U.S.

Child Sponsorship - With Eyes to See
For the past 13 years our family, through the Global Ministries Sponsorship program, has sponsored a child at the Family Village Farm, in Tamil Nadu, India. Her name is Saranya. Alongside our two sons, Christopher and Daniel, we have considered her part of the family. A photo of her has been posted on our frig for years. We have exchanged letters. We have noted with joy each of her accomplishments in her school.  Never did we imagine that we would ever have the opportunity to see her in person.  

Would you like to become involved with an easy global mission project? Come, you who are blessed... share comfort and show compassion in life as Christ did around the world. The Global Ministries Child Sponsorship Program is the place to get connected! This global children's ministry works closely with private centers that have long-established links with a UCC or Disciples global partner. Through partners, we work in collaboration with our agencies to provide food, basic health care, clothing and in some cases housing, school fees, uniform, books and training and livelihood opportunities to many poor and destitute children in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe. The Child Sponsorship program has been providing assistance for more than 40 years—one child at a time...

Currently, we have 15 centers participating with approximately 900 children in the program. Over the years more than 3,000 poor and low income children have been embraced by sponsors and their gifts. Find out more at ucc.org!

    Soaring With The Spirit

    Grace

    UNITED CHURCH O F   C H R I S T
    8515 Brookwulf Drive
    Houston, Texas 77072
    PH: 281-575-7866

    Worship 10:00 AM Sunday School for all ages 11:30 AM