The congregation at Silver Spring UMC is blessed to include people from all over the country and all over the world. Being a multicultural community enriches our relationships and our worship. The body of Christ is beautifully diverse and radically inclusive, and we strive to reflect that. But it can be challenging. To be a truly inclusive community, we have to talk about power, about race, about ethnicity, about bias, and about the structures set up inside and outside the church that dehumanize our siblings in Jesus.
One of our recent conversations about this addressed the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2017, we hosted listening sessions and incorporated reflections about this movement into worship, small groups, and special events. After months of discussion, prayer, and education, we voted to display a Black Lives Matter banner on our building, as a public display of our convictions as a church, and as a way to hold ourselves accountable to continuing these conversations. People were invited to sign the back of the banner to show their support.