Anti-Racist Work in the UCC

The United Church of Christ (UCC) has a long history of working towards eradicating systemic and institutional racism. In 2003 General Synod 24 adopted a resolution calling for the UCC to be an anti-racist church stating that “racism is rooted in a belief of the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits, unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege on Europeans and European descendants.”

You and your congregations are invited and encouraged to enter into dialogue, engage in learning, explore your own stories and contexts, and work against racism in our lives and in our world. In doing so, we live out the prophetic call to the risky personal and communal work needed work to truly do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.

Open Conversations about Whiteness and White Privilege Today

Starts Tuesday June 30, 12 pm (Central)


All people in the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota Conferences are invited to join Rev. Diane Schmitz for conversation. Rev. Diane is an ordained UCC minister and her work focuses on racial equity work with predominantly white churches, schools, and organizations. She will be hosting Brave Space* particularly for white people in our conferences to process, ask questions, and openly dialogue about the events that have been unfolding in our country and why. She’ll help raise up conversation and ideas that address how race shows up at personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels and how we all are called to recognize and interrupt racism.

Tuesdays at 12:00pm CT from June 30th through July 21st
Join Zoom Meeting:
Dial by your location: +1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 826 7995 1404
Find your local number:

Questions? Contact Rev. Samantha Houser,

Brave spaces invite participants to summon the courage to be authentic, speak openly, take risks, explore, experiment, learn, and change. Brave spaces are created by commitments to stay engaged, to not shy away from the discomfort real learning and growth may require, and to be open to letting go of previous ways of understanding. Brave spaces are not “safe”; they can be challenging. And, they are a needed part of transformational work. 

White Privilege: Clergy, Let’s Talk

Clergy have been asking what is the first or next faithful step in anti-racism work within our churches and communities. In listening to the wisdom of people of color long involved in this work, the answer is that white people need to explore what it is to be white; dialogue about history and being shaped by race; uncover how social and institutional systems have evolved from an assumption that whiteness “is the norm”; understand how the Church is one of these systems; and then, take the next faithful step towards acting against interpersonal and systemic racism.

White clergy in the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota Conferences are invited to enter into Brave Space and join a facilitated clergy cohort to work in depth through the UCC’s curriculum White Privilege: Let’s Talk. 

Brave Space asks participants to summon the courage to be authentic, speak openly, take risks, explore, experiment, learn, and change. Brave spaces require a commitment to stay engaged, to not shy away from the discomfort real learning and growth require, and to be open to letting go of previous ways of understanding. If you have worked through this curriculum before, you are encouraged to join again because new learnings emerge each time.

Clergy participants, commit to:

  • Engage with a specific clergy cohort with up to 8 other clergy and 2 facilitators. Cohorts meet via Zoom.
  • 6 weeks of group work in your specific cohort. 1 session each week each session lasting 2 hours. 
  • Attending all 6 session. This is vital to the group and to individuals.
  • Completing homework between sessions including readings, self-reflection, and writing spiritual autobiographies through the lens of race.
  • Participating in a final all-groups gathering on Sept 8th, Noon-1 (Central Time). 

Cohorts Offered

  • Sunday Cohort. Meets Sundays from 6-8 pm (Central Time). Begins July 19. Facilitated by Rev. Patrick Messer and Rev. Samantha Houser.
  • Monday Cohort. Meets Mondays from 2-4 pm (Central Time). Begins July 20. Facilitated by Rev. Mary Beth Mardis-LeCroy and Rev. Samantha Houser.
  • Tuesday Cohort. Meets Tuesdays from 1-3 pm (Central Time). Begins July 21. Facilitated by Rev. Dustin Bartlett and Rev. Ellis Arnold.
  • Wednesday Cohort. Meets Wednesdays from 3-5 pm (Central Time). Begins July 22. Facilitated by Rev. Eileen Gebbie and Rev. Ellis Arnold.
  • Thursday Cohort. Meets Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm (Central Time). Begins July 23. Faciliiated by Rev. Katie Miller and Rev. Jonna Jensen.
  • Friday Cohort. Meets Fridays from 10 am-12 pm (Central Time). Begins July 24. Facilitated by Rev. Mollie Ronge and Rev. Brigit Stevens.

Next Steps:

  • Get registered for a cohort that fits your schedule by clicking through below. Registration due by July 17th @ 5 pm (Central). 
  • Visit There you can
    • Download your copy of “White Privilege: Let’s Talk, A Resource for Transformational Dialogue”.
    • Download your copy of “Participant Handouts” to learn the schedule for reading. 
    • Watch for a welcome email after July 17th from your cohort facilitators.

Click here for more information and to see available cohorts.
Questions? Contact Rev. Ellis Arnold,

Sacred Conversations to End Racism

Sacred Conversations to End Racism: A Restorative Justice Journey

In 2018 Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER), a Restorative Racial Justice Journey curriculum was created to address and dismantle racism within the Christian Church and society. SC2ER includes restorative racial justice resources as a corrective to the historical and contemporary harm, injury, and trauma enacted upon non-European descendants. The ongoing impact of racism and xenophobia in contemporary society requires Christians to commit to a journey of restoration and repair among God’s people impacted by individual and systemic oppression and marginalization.

You are invited to begin a restorative racial justice journey with Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER). Participants will be relying on the facilitator to create a welcoming environment, understand the material, communicate well, listen intently, and provide structure for a healthy environment and interactive group dynamics. You do not have to be an expert, or have all the answers to everyone’s questions. The facilitator’s role is to lead the group, keep the space respectful, open, and encourage people to go deeper.

The next facilitator training is happening virtually in August 2020.  Applications are being accepted now.

Congregation and Small Group Curriculum
White Privilege: Let’s Talk

White Privilege: Let’s Talk—A Resource for Transformational Dialogue is an adult curriculum from the United Church of Christ that’s designed to invite church members to engage in substantive and bold conversations on race.

Through readings, videos, conversations, and activities, this curriculum is a concerted effort to enable allies to learn to talk about race, to illuminate how white people in America, regardless of their economic stratum and in a myriad of ways, receive privileged consideration simply because they are white, and to invite people and communities to discern what their next faithful step will be in joining alongside leaders in anti-racist movements.