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.”
 
Quick links:
 
 
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 lessons, 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 Ministry Team and the RJG listserve, where members share resources and news events and calls to action, please email the office.  We do not post all of our events and activities on this page, so please join the listserve and Racial Justice Ministry Team!
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.
     
    VOICE Initiatives
    • 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. 533 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.
 

Land Acknowledgement

Long before The Potomac Presbytery claimed this site for a Presbyterian church the land was used by the people native to the land we call America. According to archeologists’ estimates, a succession of indigenous peoples occupied the Chesapeake and Tidewater region, arriving roughly 3,000 to 10,000 years ago. Those people of Algonquian & Nacotchtank affiliation who would coalesce into the Piscataway nation, lived in the Potomac (Patawomeck) River drainage area since at least AD 1300.

We thank those who cared for this land before us and give gratitude to the land itself. As Christians, we are called to be responsible stewards of God’s creation and to protect the land and its complex natural environment so that it can continue to exist and be enjoyed now and in future generations.”

 

Want to learn more?

  • To learn more about the native land upon which you reside, play or work: https://native-land.ca/
  • The US Department of Arts & Culture’s Guide & Call to Land Acknowledgment: https://usdac.us/nativeland