Church: Building the Beloved Community

After watching the video, we invite you to answer a few short questions about the Vital Conversations Video Series.

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Links to Additional Online Resources

The Huffington Post: Why Teaching Kids to Be Racially Colorblind Is a Big Mistake
“The truth is, kids aren’t colorblind. Neither are adults. Evidence points to the importance of truly talking about race with your kids. Don’t believe me? Go check out a group of three-year-old kids playing with no adult interference. You’ll quickly notice similar-looking kids are naturally drawn to each other.”

Wanderings: Color Blind Theology and Racism in the Church
“This is a two part series looking very briefly at two ways in which the church continues to be implicated in discourses of racism and White supremacy.”

United Church of Christ: Racial Justice
“Each person is created in the image of God. But whenever we devise, maintain or perpetuate systems and structures that oppress people based on race and/or ethnicity, we interfere with God’s purpose and the opportunity for all God’s children to be fully who they are created to be. Racism is an affront to God.”


Additional Resources

View and download the study guide here.


Ask about everyone’s week, along with prayers for joys and sorrows.

Open with Prayer

Introduction to Church: Building the Beloved Community

Dr. Miguel de la Torre’s approach to dismantling racism is religiously analyzing social issues from the perspective of the dispossessed and disenfranchised. Dr. de la Torre focuses on role of church in embracing marginalized communities and cultivating a true spirit of multiculturalism in his video “Church: Building the Beloved Community.” He names racism as a sin.

Discussion Questions

1.What are some of the barriers within The United Methodist Church to building the beloved community and combatting racism?

2. The United Methodist Church in the United States is 97 percent white. What barriers may prevent or discourage people of color from engaging in our ministries and attending our churches? How does our church (or ministry) rank in terms of bringing in people of color or people of other races and ethnicities?

3. What does Dr. de la Torre say about is a “color-blind” approach to issues of racial inclusion and justice? What are the implications of racial color blindness in church?

4. What is the difference between individual versus broader social reconciliation?

5. What are some differences (and tensions) between the “Black Lives Matter” movement and those who express a preference for an emphasis on “all lives matter”?

6. What does the apostle Paul says about diversifying? What does the scripture mean for diversifying the church?

Closing Prayer in Unison

Light a candle as a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, we humbly come to you repenting of our sins. Let us hear and support our indigenous sisters and brothers who are suffering because of a long history of racism that impacts all of us today. In our relationship with the indigenous community, let repentance move to meaningful action. Amen.


The Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre is a professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. Born in Cuba and ordained in the Southern Baptist Church, Dr. Del La Torre is a prolific author, engaging speaker, and inspiring scholar activist. Dr. De La Torre has written many books and articles including the popular Reading the Bible from the Margins. He has been an expert commentator concerning ethical issues related to Hispanic religiosity, LGBTQ civil rights, and immigration rights, and has appeared in several local, national, and international media outlets. He is well known for his unique approach of religiously analyzing social issues from the perspective of the dispossessed and disenfranchised.

GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.