2023 Resolutions

Resolution 2023-04: “East Ohio United Methodists Against Hate Crimes”
General Church Budget Implications: None
East Ohio Conference Implications: None

Whereas: the East Ohio Annual Conference has committed itself to create disciples of Jesus Christ who are courageously anti-racist in a hurting and broken world through our conference initiative, EOC Stands Against Racism, and

Whereas: this work of racial justice needs our constant attention due to the prevalence of white supremacy that exists in our churches, communities, and institutions, and

Whereas: since the beginning of this conference-wide initiative, hate crimes have risen dramatically over the past two years, including shootings at stores across the country, targeting of the Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian communities, shootings of unarmed persons of color, differently abled persons, and children (in or out of school), bombing and desecration of houses of worship and community gathering places, and

Whereas: clergy and laity have a responsibility to resist evil in whatever forms it presents itself, with special attention given to eradicating hate in whatever forms it arises within our community, and

Whereas: Scripture teaches us that God created every human being in God’s image and that every person, is a reflection of God’s glory (including differences in understanding and expressing faith, in gifts and practices of ministry, and in life experiences, as shaped by ethnicities, cultures, communities, abilities, age, sexual orientation and gender). We affirm our belief in the inestimable worth of each individual to whom God gives unique gifts (UM Social Principles 2020 pg. 6, paraphrased); therefore, hate and racism are incompatible with Christian teaching, are sinful and evil, and deny the image of God in others and oppress those who are the object of God’s affections, leading to the violation and denial of human rights, justice, and inherent human sacred worth.

Therefore, be it resolved: that the people of the East Ohio Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church publicly and swiftly condemn acts of hate violence, with special concern given to those in our geographic jurisdiction, so that the world may know that Christ’s people are opposed to such violence and so that the victims and their communities may know that we stand with them. We urge that a task force be formed to create a Statement concerning this. That Statement of support would be made available to members of the congregations of East Ohio Conference and their neighbors to sign and

Be it further resolved: that we implore local congregations to study and discuss the problem of hate crimes together as a community; and that with EOC Stands Against Racism coordinating and advisory teams, help provide appropriate study materials, and specifically, once resources are available, the conference help equip clergy and laity to speak directly to the rise of hate crimes in our communities by making said resources available on the conference website, and

Be it further resolved: that we especially encourage District Superintendents to help multiple congregations to come together across differences such as race or ethnicity and undertake this work together.

Submitted by: Marcia Schettler and John C. Wilson