Anti-Racism Focus aT First

As the nation's collective awareness has shed more light on the continued systemic injustice to people of color, a team of people committed to further anti-racism work was formed within the faith development ministry area of this church. Their goal is to embed the DNA of this congregation for generations to come with learning and action opportunities in our church and the local community to support anti-racism efforts. We believe this work is essential as noted in the Social Principles of the Book of Discipline and as encouraged by Bishop Bard of the Michigan Conference.  

With sadness, we acknowledge that we are a segregated faith community and commit ourselves to do the work we (people of European descent) need to do to further the inclusive and expansive kin-dom of God here on earth and in this church.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect." -Romans 12:2

Learning About Racial inJustice

These books and opportunities have been a part of First's commitment to learning about racial injustice. You are welcome to use any of the created materials for your own group or individual use, we just ask that you give credit to their creators. If you have any questions about our faith-centered anti-racism programming, please contact Rev. Tania at

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (September-November 2020) Group Discussion questions created by Linda Burn and Rev. Lynn Pier-Fitzgerald

Anti Worship Series with "Continuing the Conversation" facilitated discussion groups afterward (Click on the Anti link and see our worship services from January 3-24, 2021)

Reel to Real Conversations About Racism through movies (February 2021) created by Sonrisa Cortes, Student Director, and Rev. Tania Dozeman

21-Day Racial Equity Challenge with Hope Church through the Greater Ottawa County United Way (March 2021) 

Spring Read: The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby (April 2021) Group Discussion Questions created by Linda Burn and Rev. Lynn Pier-Fitzgerald

February Movie Series collaboration with the Odyssey Impact Organization (in-person and virtual) with faith-based discussion guides facilitated by Rev. Tania Dozeman (February 2022)

Run For His Life (February 1)

Descended from the Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street (February 8)

Milwaukee 53206: A Community Serves Time (February 15)

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson online book study led by Linda Burn and Rev. Lynn-Pier Fitzgerald (Faith-Based Discussion Guide and Questions)

Our next Step

During 2022, the staff, Anti-Racism team, and Leadership team are working with the Michigan Conference staff to implement our individual plans from the Intercultural Development Inventory. The IDI is an assessment to help individuals and organizations identify learning targets to strengthen their intercultural competency around such things as race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status. We hope to offer it to the entire congregation soon. To learn about the IDI, please click here