Racial Equity Initiative Team

Racial Equity Initiative: Our 2021 Goals

In June 2020, Calvary Session adopted a formal statement affirming Calvary’s commitment to antiracism, as we grieved the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Tayler, George Floyd, and others.

As Calvary’s commitment to take action, we are guided by the following:

  • We recommit to recognizing and dismantling racism and unconscious bias in our own hearts and minds, in the institution of the church, and in the broader culture.
  • We will provide a space to process what we are seeing and learning and to discern our call as a community of faith to take action toward these goals.
  • Our shared set of values and mission calls us to “transform lives for Christ:” that now calls us to transform our own lives to be less complicit in racist aspects of our culture, to transform the lives of those who have historically faced oppression by helping eradicate systemic racism disproportionately affecting them, and to be the hands and feet of Christ by opposing institutions and practices everywhere that deny the full humanity of all God’s children.

Racial Equity Initiative Mission
As a Matthew 25 congregation, we commit to recognizing and dismantling racism and unconscious bias in our own hearts and minds, in the institution of the church, and in the broader culture. We will provide a space to process what we are seeing and learning and to discern our call as a community of faith to take action toward these goals. Our shared set of values and mission calls us to “transform lives for Christ:” that now calls us to transform our own lives to be less complicit in racist aspects of our culture, to transform the lives of those who have historically faced oppression by combating white supremacy and helping eradicate systemic racism disproportionately affecting them, and to be the hands and feet of Christ by opposing institutions and practices everywhere that deny the full humanity of all God’s children.

Racial Equity Initiative Vision
To be a faith community committed to anti-racist principles and practices, actively engaged in dismantling and repairing the harm caused by white supremacy and racial inequities.

Racial Equity Initiative Goals

LEARN about the history of systemic racism and the skills to dismantle its effects in our church and society, and within ourselves.

  1. Create and grow a learning community by providing movie and book discussions, classes, resources for individual learning, and a website that provides information about systemic racism and racial injustice topics to deepen individual and collective understanding.
  2. Cultivate skills in dismantling racism and organizing for racial justice by sharing best practices, sound theories, skills, models, tools, approaches, and programs to help combat white supremacy and racism.
  3. Engage in self-reflection and group discussion, meeting challenge and discomfort with courage and curiosity.
  4. Seek to immerse ourselves in spaces where we can hear from and begin to understand the lived experiences of those most impacted by systemic racism and racial discrimination.
  5. Implement learnings in our individual lives to be less complicit in racist aspects of our culture.

ACT to help alleviate systemic racial injustices and change unjust policies and practices that perpetuate it.

  1. Advocate by networking and joining community organizations that are doing important work around confronting and undoing systemic racism.
  2. Petition by reaching out to state, county, and community leaders and organizations through letter writing, emails, in-person visits, and phone calls to inform and ask they take action that addresses and eliminates racial injustices.
  3. Volunteer by serving and participating in church, local, and global endeavors that actively address dismantling racial injustices and partner with those who have been subjects of discrimination.
  4. Participate in peaceful protests and marches in support of causes addressing racial injustices

More to Explore

Talking with Kids About the Order of Worship in the Bulletin.

If I visited Calvary for the first time and had not been to a Presbyterian church before, I would want someone to help me understand what I was doing throughout the order of worship. This blog provides an example of how some churches annotate their bulletins so children, youth, and adults can learn more about why we choose to read, sing, pray, and listen at certain times during the worship service. Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church (www.hbpres.net) in Louisville, Kentucky offers a model of how to explain the order of worship. Being transparent about how we worship together is in line with our reformed tradition. We can read and interpret the Bible ourselves, as well as worship and say prayers with our own bodies. Many years ago, a priest would do all of this while the congregation sat or stood. It is important for parents to share with their children that all people have the freedom to contribute to a worship service. By singing, listening, praying, and sharing, we get to know each other and witness each other’s talents and inspiring work. Fellowship and education events are only part of the ways that we form our faith together. Participating in worship is what binds us together each Sunday, so that we can support each other at or outside of church during the week.

Support Trans Kids

Calvary Presbyterian Church continues to support transgender youth and adults. March 2023 is Transgender Awareness Month. We show our continuing support through messages such as, “Trans Lives Matter,” “Believe Trans Kids,” “Support Trans Kids,” and “Protect Trans Kids.” This blog will offer some insight into Presbyterian and San Francisco organizations that actively support and advocate for LGBTQI+ people. I hope that you will take time to read through these resources. There is hope. So many inspired people of all ages are working together for freedom, safety, and love. Now that I am raising two teens I have come to more clearly understand the context and reality that LGBTQI+ youth live in every day. It is crucial to support the growth and development of transgender children and youth who sense that their “gender identity does not correspond with, or sit comfortably with, the sex they were registered at birth.” That is the definition of transgender offered by Twinkl, an education website for children ages preschool to 8th grade. See more definitions at the end of this blog. Transgender children, youth, young adults, adults, and senior adults do not want to be "othered" as they are children of God. We want to believe, support, and protect them, so that they can live safely and freely without fear and shame. When adults do not see or support children or youth as they are, the risks of gender dysphoria and youth suicide increase. God created all of us in Their image. May we have the courage to send out Jesus’ message of love and acceptance to ourselves and all people.

2022 Annual Report