Commitment

As a Matthew 25 Congregation, we are embracing these three focuses:

  • Building congregational vitality by challenging people and congregations to deepen their faith and get actively and joyfully engaged with their community and the world.
  • Dismantling structural racism by advocating and acting to break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.
  • Eradicating systemic poverty by working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.

What is a Matthew 25 Church?

Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this passage, both the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the PC(USA) to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.

Dismantling Structural Racism

Racism is deeply embedded in the life and history of the U.S. Through colonization, slavery and a shameful history of legislative action and judicial pronouncements, our nation created and embraced a system that valued and devalued people based simply on skin color and ethnic identity. People of color were deliberately subjugated for material, political and social advantage. Racism today is the continuing and enduring legacy of this history.


The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Brionna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd have brough to the forefront that racism is a crisis and must be addressed. Dahlonega Presbyterian Church is strongly committed to the struggle for racial justice.


Why do we talk about structural racism?

Racism is not primarily about individual prejudice or an individual’s beliefs and attitudes. Rather, racism in the U.S. is a socially constructed system. Some people are advantaged, and others are disadvantaged, merely because of their skin color, ethnic identity or their ancestral background. Social power and prejudice have combined to treat people differently, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Some people are privileged while others are oppressed. As a consequence, there is unequal and inequitable access to resources such as money, education, information and decision-making power.   


Structural racism can show up in multiple ways, including:

  • Housing discrimination that limits where people of color can live and steers them to rental markets rather than home ownership.
  • Laws and policies that deny people of color access to quality education, employment and adequate health care.
  • Food apartheid — areas deliberately devoid of quality, affordable fresh food.
  • Mass incarceration and criminal justice systems that disproportionately target people of color with lengthier sentences, “stop-and-frisk” laws, the over-policing of communities of color, the school-to-prison pipeline, etc.
  • Environmental racism — the dumping of hazardous waste, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to clean water that results in a range of serious health problems in communities of color.


What can we do to help dismantle structural racism?

Confronting deeply ingrained racist systems and structures in our communities and country takes sensitivity and stamina. Before congregations and worshiping communities can confront the harsh realities of racism, it is helpful to have a good foundation.


Resources to learn more about racism are available at this link.




We're a Matthew 25 Church