CFRE: Clergy for Racial Equality

CFRE – A network of support and empowerment for Columbia District clergy, to share ideas and “best practices” of addressing racism in each pastor’s community and church context.  

CFRE was founded by Rev. Cathy Jamieson, DS, in June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. Members of CFRE launched the first ever virtual MLK Service in January 2021. They also have held listening sessions for African-American clergy to share their experiences and pain of racism. Other meeting topics have included watching an ETV interview with Bishop Will Willimon, discussing his experience with racism in the church and the community.

CFRE is NOT a committee, a caucus group, a District or Conference program, a 501(c)3, a Board, or a club (although it could evolve, if members decide, into any of these types of organizations).  It is simply a group of clergy who commit to working for racial equality and justice, in ways that each pastor determines is effective in their church and community context.   The following are the details:

1.      Each pastor signs up through the District office, for one year, on Juneteenth (June 19, see history of Juneteenth below).  At the end of the year (June to June), a pastor may sign up for another year, or leave the network. 

2.      There are no dues, budget, or officers.  

3.      We meet once a month (by Zoom or in person) for 1 hour, first Thursdays, 10:00am. We begin in the fall and end on the first Thursday in June.

4. The District Superintendent sends out a Zoom link and meeting reminder prior to each meeting.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

To sign up, go to this link: https://forms.gle/Ca4ZqTENCahTCYju6