Amos 5:24 Ministry Team
Presbytery Staff Liaison – Elder Ralph Lowe, Director of Justice Ministries
What We Do
The mission of the Amos 5:24 Ministry Team is to lead Pittsburgh Presbytery into a greater understanding of the effects of racism: to facilitate repentance for our corporate complicity in systemic injustice in our communities; and to set in motion training, dialogue and active engagement in church and community events, which address and seek to redress racism in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
The Anti-racism Planning & Design Task Force of the Amos 5:24 Ministry Team birthed a new team completely dedicated to racial justice work, the Anti-Racism Transformation Team. Racial justice work calls for a reordering of life, a dismantling of unjust structures, and an invitation to consider our complicity in systemic forms of oppression. Visit the ARTT page to learn more about the team and how to join in their work.
The commissioning of the Amos 5:24 Ministry Team came about as a result of three previous initiatives:
- In 1999, the General Assembly of the PC(USA) released Facing Racism: A Vision of the Beloved Community, which called the denomination to adopt antiracism strategies to address injustice and work toward reconciliation in church and community;
- In 2007, Pittsburgh Presbytery adopted the Overture on Racism, Classism and Justice for African Americans in Pittsburgh Presbytery, which tasked Amos 5:24 Ministry Team with antiracism training, activities, and community engagement;
- In 2008, the Pittsburgh Presbytery Racism Missional Action Team (MAT) also called for the commissioning of the Amos 5:24 Ministry Team to carry out a focused program of training.
Since its inception, Amos 5:24 Ministry Team has sponsored a variety of educational programs and activities, some of which include:
|2009||Created Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh, a Heinz History Center exhibit|
|2010||Surveyed congregations in the presbytery regarding membership growth and racial diversity|
|Conducted three Speaking of Race dialogues involving more than ten congregations in the presbytery|
|Organized a Gospel workshop and a multicultural worship hosted by Sixth Presbyterian church|
|2011||Funded anti-racism projects at Verona United, Second United of Wilkinsburg, Community House, and Beulah Presbyterian Churches, and Community of Reconciliation|
|2012||Established collaborations with anti-racism training with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh|
|Attended Crossroads Anti-Racism training (founded by the Rev. Joseph Barndt) in Chicago|
|2013||Brought the Crossroads Anti-Racism two-day training session to the Pittsburgh Presbytery|
|2014||Cost of Racism workshops held prior to each presbytery meeting (February, May, September, and December) focusing on what racism costs us socially, economically, spiritually, and ethically|
Institutional change does not happen overnight. It begins with small, incremental steps. If we are to become an anti-racist presbytery then change is required. The change we seek is to move anti-racism work from the margins into the center of the presbytery’s life and mission. To that end, Amos 5:24 instituted a Planning & Design Task Force (PDTF), part of the Crossroads Anti-Racism process, from members of our presbytery. The goal of the PDTF is to create a Transformation Team (TT), trained by Crossroads Anti-Racism and rooted in the fundamentals of Presbyterian theology, to carry the task of dismantling racism.
If you are interested in joining our ministry team or if you are interested in assisting with particular projects, please email the Rev. Chad Collins or call him at 412-708-6158, and help us to “…let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989)