Trinity is committed to actively working to dismantle systemic racism. Our efforts echo the PC(USA)’s anti-racism policy: “As followers of Jesus Christ, we stand against racism in all its myriad forms….Racism is the opposite of what God intends for humanity. It is the rejection of the other, which is entirely contrary to the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ. It is a form of idolatry that elevates human-made hierarchies of value over divinely-given free grace….Racism is the continuing legacy of white supremacy.”
 
What do we do?
The Trinity racial justice group began convening in 2016 to discuss how our congregation could work to counter racism and advance racial justice. Trinity has worked to foster dialogue about systemic racism and equip church members with the skills to work for justice. Such work has included: Allyship training, adult Sunday school classes, children Sunday school lesson, Mission trip devotional, church wide book challenges, screening of the “13th” documentary, VOICE led listening session, VOICE discerning member, installing a banner “Be the Church: Fight Racism” on Trinity grounds, taking part in the BLM protests in summer 2020, promoting current action opportunities with Racial Justice Spots and VOICE events, and more.
In 2021 the Session voted to approve the Racial Justice Group to become its own ministry, pending a congregational vote in the fall (to abide by by-laws).
What can I do?
We invite you to learn, take action, and get involved. If you would like to learn more about our fight against racism, one of the best resources for the Trinity Community, the Racial Justice Group and the RJG listserve, where members share resources and news events and calls to action, please email the office.
We are also supporting:
 
V.O.I.C.E.
Since August 2020, Trinity has been taking part in VOICE, Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, a multiracial, interfaith coalition of almost 50 faith communities and civic organizations in Northern Virginia working together to build power in middle- and low-income communities to make change. Through VOICE, Trinity members are taking action on issues impacting our community, such as affordable housing and decriminalizing mental illness. Trinity became a full member of VOICE in 2021. Learn more about VOICE‘s victories in the past year here.
  • Watch an overview video here.
  • Want to get involved? Contact Dan Campbell.
  • New! Make plans to come to the VOICE Gubernatorial Assembly on October 3 from 3:45 -5:45 p.m. at Dar-Al-Nor, 5404 Hoadly Rd, Manassas.  We will meet at 3pm at Trinity to carpool.
     VOICE is proposing that $100 Million be included in the Virginia state budget to create at least one Crisis Response Center (CRC) for each of the five DBHSS regions in Virginia. A brief, 2-page description of CRC’s is attached. 
     Here is more background.
    • The presence of CRC’s, with 23-hour stabilization beds, will allow crisis response teams and police to have a clean drop off to a facility that is safe, secure, and staffed by an interdisciplinary team of professionals. Often transporting patients across county lines is a problem for police and they have to rely on sheriffs for this, imposing on yet another part of the emergency response system that is not intended for this service.
    • CRC’s offer diversion from detention and hospitalization. They will be a part of a “Marcus Alert” mental health crisis response system that includes a separate crisis number (988) with its own call center and mobile crisis response teams which will partner with police when indicated. 
    • Many people who need mental health services end up in correctional facilities. In the first five months of 2021, 30% (8,200 people!) of the population at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center were identified by Community Services Board personnel as being in need of mental health services. 
    • Prince William County is creating a Crisis Receiving Center. They have determined that 38% of patients they expect at the CRC will be uninsured – not even Medicaid. That leaves an operating budget deficit of about $7 Million annually that is not paid by insurance. That is why we need to pressure the Governor and state legislators to fully fund the creation and operation of CRC’s.
    • Every $1 invested in CRC’s yields $3 in savings on other services..
    VOICE is also asking candidates to commit to the development and funding of 10,000 affordable housing units in Virginia. The event will be held in an open tent with socially-distanced seating for about 500 people. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged. We will meet at 3:00 at the Trinity Presbyterian Church upper parking lot and go from there. 5533 N 16th St. Arlington VA 22205
 
RESOURCES

Trinity members have participated in racial justice in the following ways. We invite you to learn more by using the below resources on your own:

 

Education Resources:
Pastor Judith’s Weekly Letters on Racial Justice from her sermon series in 2020:

Voices of Racism
Environmental Racism
Spatial Racism
Cultural Racism

Books from the Congregation Book Challenge:
Waking up White by Debby Irving
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson;
How to be an Antiracistby Ibram X. Kendi (Plus: Interview of Ibram X. Kendi by Brene Brown.)
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Other Avenues of Action:

Allyship Training with Service Never Sleeps
Presbytery web page on Racial Justice resources
How to Talk to your Preschooler about Racism and Violence

Videos
The Documentary on Netflix 13th
Rev. Dr. Herbert Nelson, Stated PCUSA clerk, remembers recent victims of racial violence.
PCUSA Week of Action Video: Trouble the Water.
Do you have questions on why PC(USA) is active in this cause? Click here.

The video of the installation of the Fight Racism Banner at Trinity:
 

 

Statement from Session on Racial Injustice

In June 2020, Trinity’s Session issued a statement in light of the most recent racial injustices. Part of the statement follows:
The Church cannot stand silent about the pattern of racial discrimination that has been an ingrained part of our national identity from the very beginning. The Church cannot stand silent about how racial discrimination has never gone away but has instead taken different forms in each generation. The Church cannot stand silent about particular forms of racial discrimination we are seeing in our generation: mass incarceration (particularly of people with black and brown bodies), the exploitation of prison labor, police brutality, and vigilantism empowered by law. These are issues that are at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement and the current protests; they demand our attention and action as well.
Please click here to read the whole statement.