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UMC-RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR ADULTS
Antiracism - ACTION: click here
From Palestine Advocacy Groups: click here
From United Methodist leaders and bodies: click here
historic and current: click here
for Learning & Action Solidarity & Intersectionality
Did you see the resources in the right column? ➹
RESOURCES FOR and ABOUT CHILDREN
From the Pulpit: Sermons Preaching Against Racism
General Commission on Religion and Race, UMC
The Fire This Time:
with Pentecost Power
by Rev. Dr. Jay Williams
Jesus the Christ overturned the tables of thieves in the temple. It’s actually in all four Gospels. The docility of Jesus is one of the greater distortions of the Christian imagination. Jesus preached a gospel of liberation; he never physically hurt people, but he wasn’t “nonviolent” when it comes to property. It’s past time for Christians to get some fire in our faith and get angry enough to follow the angry Jesus of the Gospels. Watch this here
The Riot of Pentecost
by Rev. Andy Oliver
Scripture: Acts 2:1-21
Just as the Holy Spirit
gave birth to the
church, she brings the
rebirth of liberation for
the church today. Will we live into it or will we snuff out the fires allowing the harmful sin of white supremacy to be our defining story? What if Pentecost was a riot of resistance led by young people in the aftermath of their brown leader being killed at the hands of the state? Watch this here
The Gifts of Grief
by Rev. Stephanie Vadar
Scripture: Acts 2:1-18
Breathing is on our
minds. In the midst of a
pandemic that threatens our ability to breathe and making our breath threatening, we hear the heart-breaking cry of George Floyd: “I can’t breathe.” We have heard this cry before in July of 2014 from Eric Garner, as he, like Floyd, was being murdered by a police officer. In this time when the world is staggered by a virus that can steal our breath, this cry sounds even more horrifying. I can’t breathe. We confess that many of us live in a state of denial. Breath, these days, is a luxury. A privilege. (Sermon begins at minute 30:18 in the video) Watch this here
Life and Spirit
by Rev. Kil Jae Park
Scripture: 1 Corinthians
12:3b-13 In the creation
story, the Bible teaches
us that “the Lord God
formed a man from the
dust of the ground and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:8).” Life is possible only because the spirit of life is in us. Moreover, the kind of life that we live is shaped and determined by the spirit that is in us. Laws, regulations, policies, and programs can help shape the life of society to a certain extent, but they will never be able to transform or subdue the spirit of hatred and isms that govern the thoughts and actions of the people. True transformation can take place only when the spirit of the people is transformed by God’s spirit of love and grace. For this reason, the crisis facing our society today is a spiritual crisis more than it is political, racial, or social. Herein lies the mission of our church today. (Sermon begins at minute 17:20 in the video)
Watch this here
Speechless No More
by Rev. Dr. Vicki Gordy-Stith
Scripture: Acts 2:1-8, 12-21
Just as the power of the
Holy Spirit gave the early
disciples the courage they
needed to overcome their
shame and speak boldly,
Pentecost encourages us to join them and fearlessly address white privilege and racism. Through sharing my own story of overcoming my shame and silence, we examine Pentecost’s invitation to listen, lament, and repent. Trusting in the love of God, the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can take positive action to examine ourselves and address systemic racism. (Sermon begins at minute 3:32 in the video) Watch this here
by Rev. Dr. Larry Pickens
Assembly, an authentic
requires that Black lives matter Watch this here
Find all of these sermons from GCORR
on their website.
Sermons on Anti-racism
General Board of Discipleship, UMC
What do you say? In the midst of all that is happening around us, what do you say as a preacher of the gospel? How do you take that place, stand in that pulpit, or sit in your living room and livestream a message in the face of unrest and turmoil and heartache? How do you speak of injustice and of grace?….
Here are some sermons from which we can all take courage. Some come from large churches; some come from small ones. Some come from white preachers;
some from preachers of color. Some might seem bold,
and others somewhat timid. But all chose to speak about the virus of racism that has sickened our society for far too long.
It is time to speak. Listen to these preachers and take heart for the movement of the Spirit in The United Methodist Church. Listen and be encouraged to speak a hard truth.
Rev. Darren Wright
is pastor to young
Church in Nashville,
Tennessee. He speaks
of his experience as an English teacher in South Korea and what it meant to be heard and included in a place where he was a stranger. Rev. Wright brings a new hearing to the Pentecost story. He then gives practical steps to becoming an anti-racist. (The sermon begins at 24:35.) Watch it here
Rev. Sandy Kim,
Church in Southern
Pines, Florida. As an
Rev. Kim reflects on the George Floyd incident from a different perspective, through the eyes of the Asian American police officer who stood by. (Rev. Kim’s sermon begins at 35:45) Watch it here
Rev. Cody Stauffer is pastor
of Lewiston First United
Methodist Church in
Lewiston, Idaho, and
Clarkston United Methodist
Church in Clarkston,
churches straddle a state
line and are out west, where
the image of whiteness is a matter of course. But Cody preaches his own confession of the racism he harbors as well, as the vow to take a different path. He invites his churches to join with him in a process of education and repentance. His book list is impressive and daunting for these small churches.
The sermon begins at 33:00.
Like many of us have had, Cody had some technical problems in the recording of this sermon, but stick with it; it is worth the time.Watch it here
Rev. Tori Butler is pastor
of Good Hope Union
United Methodist Church
in Silver Springs, Maryland.
Rev. Butler sits at her desk
in this online sermon and
shares the gospel and her
heart. As an African
American woman preacher she brings a perspective that many need to hear, but she also shares the confidence that the God she proclaims is bigger than the problems that surround us. Watch it here
Rev. Sam Parkes, pastor
of Mary Esther United
Methodist Church in
Mary Esther, Florida brings
a heartfelt message of the
person of George Floyd and
why his murder should weigh
on the hearts of all the people of God. Sam is a storyteller and brings out the human element even as he proclaims the Gospel in compelling terms. Watch it here
Something a little different,
a children's sermon.
Dena Bales Kitchens is a
volunteer in the Children’s
Ministry at Brookhaven
United Methodist Church
in Brookhaven, Georgia. It fell to her to bring an online message to the children of her church on Pentecost Sunday. Rather than avoid the issue, she decided that even the children need to hear the message of anti-racism. Watch it here
Rev. Rob Fuquay is the
senior pastor of St. Luke’s
United Methodist Church
in Indianapolis Indiana.
Like many, Rev. Fuquay
was troubled by the events
that occurred just before
Pentecost. So, he decided
he needed help in preaching that Sunday. Rob gathered together a mixed race panel of co-preachers to help deal with the issues. Hearing other voices and finding ways to respond and to grow in this moment is what preaching is about. This is dated 1 June 2020 on the website, but it was given on May 31st. Watch it here
Rev. Carol Cavin-Dillon
is senior pastor of West End
United Methodist Church
in Nashville, Tennessee.
West End is the epitome of
“high church,” and it has
tried its best to maintain
that vibe, even in the time of COVID-19 and lives-treaming services. But high church doesn’t mean low emotion. Rev. Carol, as some in her congregation call her, is adept at weaving heart and mind together. As a resident of Nashville, she was heartbroken by the events that transpired in her city and around the world, but she was also encouraged by the voice of protest calling for change. She too invites the congregation to begin a journey to learn and repent and grow to become anti-racist as a core value of the church. Watch it here
Rev. Nick Talbott is pastor
of University United
Methodist Church in Salina,
Kansas. Rev. Talbott’s heart
is hurting; that is evident in
the sermon that he shares.
But he is also convinced that
this is a message that needs to be shared, even in Salina, Kansas. Nick is one of those who dares to address the “Black Lives Matter” rebuttal of “All Lives Matter.” He challenges his congregation to think deeper about what Black Lives Matter really means. The sermon begins at 4:37. Watch it here
Rev. Jasmine Smothers
is pastor of Atlanta
First United Methodist
Church in Atlanta,
Georgia. Rev. Smothers
shares from her heart
as an African American woman and how she has experienced this sin of racism and how her understanding of the gospel has been filtered and challenged by the world in which she lives. Yet her profound faith comes across as an encouragement to the congregation, as she embraces hope in her Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. Watch it here
Rev. Kyle Meier is pastor
of The Peak Church,
a United Methodist
congregation in Apex,
Rev. Meier invites us into
a conversation as he
wrestles with the issues surrounding all of us. This is not the first time, he declares, that he has spoken about the sin of racism, and he knows that there will be those who don’t want to hear this message. But he is convinced this is not a social issue, but a spiritual one; not a political problem, but a gospel one. In an intimate but compelling manner, Rev. Meier encourages his congregation to not just sit still, but to get involved. The Peak Church has produced an anti-racism kit that is on their website and he challenges the whole church to get engaged in God’s work on the Kingdom. Watch it here
Rev. Aaron Carter is
the senior associate
church planter at
Methodist Church in
His sermon, preached
in early June, carries a
reasoned argument and
a sincere call to the church today to hear the cry of the oppressed. Rev. Carter brings a historical perspective as well as an appeal to human dignity in his sermon titled, “Unalienable Rights.” Watch it here
Another Trinity Sunday
sermon was preached by
Rev. Justin Coleman,
who is the senior pastor
at University United
Methodist Church in
Chapel Hill, North
Carolina. Rev. Coleman
preaches about “God in Community” and argues about the interrelationship of all God’s creation and the human creation that finds itself more divided than ever before. Coleman argues for the power of the Holy Spirit to be a source of strength and healing for the brokenness of human community.
Watch it here
A different approach is taken
by Rev. Annie Ricker, who is
senior pastor of Berryton
United Methodist Church
in Berryton, Kansas. In her
June 14 sermon, she introduces
the idea of patterns at work in
the world, and how we human
beings look for those patterns, even when they aren’t necessarily there. It is, in some ways, a scientific approach to the nature of racism and racist thinking.
Watch it here
Using the occasion of
Independence Day and
the monuments in
Washington DC, the
Rev. Tom Berlin,
senior pastor of Floris
Church in Herndon,
Virginia, was able to
bring a reasoned presentation of the living out of the second baptismal vow to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. Rev. Berlin’s sermon also takes a historical view but resolves itself in the present, as he calls his hearers to claim and be guided by our vows. From the Floris UMC website, sermon archive, July 5: the scripture text begins at 29:35. Watch it here
Lest we forget,
anti-racism begins with
how we teach our children.
Here is a children’s sermon
from Josh Shaw, director
of children and family
ministry at St. John’s
United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
With a light hand and a winsome approach, Josh speaks to the children about the invitation to the party for all.
Watch it here
David Brooks is a
commentator who writes
for the New York Times.
He was invited to preach
at the National Cathedral
on July 5 of this year. Brooks is not a preacher, but his sermon touches on the brokenness of our nation and the call for people of faith to respond in a way that leads to beauty and not ugliness. He is not United Methodist, nor is the Cathedral a Methodist Church, but this is a sermon worth hearing. It is a call to return to Jesus in his most revolutionary mode and be willing to love the world into a new reality. Watch it here
The General Board of Discipleship may add to these sermons as they receive others; see all of them at
Dismantling Racism: Resources
RESOURCES, Page 2
On this page, left side:
• What does the UMC say about
race and racism? Church constitution,
Social Principles, and Resolution
• Resources for and about Children
• UMC-recommended Books for Adults
On this page, right side:
• Sermons about race & racism, on video
United Methodist Resources, P.1
• Dismantling Racism in 2020
• Prayers & Devotionals
• United Methodist Women resources
• Bishops United Against Racism
• 2 Discussion Series from GCORR: Vital Conversations and Real Talk
• Guides & Toolkits
See them all on UMC Resources, Page 1
See our book lists: • For Learning about Racism
• By Black American Literary Giants Find them here
More resources: See our page for Learning Activities, Articles,
and Videos & PodcastsSee them here
Don't miss: Find resources about specific topics, such as Defunding the Police
and Reparations for African Americans, with those campaigns on this page:
Dismantling Racism: Actions & Campaigns
What does the UMC say about race and racism?
An Appeal from UMKR
UMKR has important church legislation for our denomination's global General Conference, to be held in 2021. These resolutions address:
• protecting Palestinian children,
• defending the right to boycott,
•divesting from the bonds of occupation governments, and other timely justice issues.
We also have BIG PLANS for educating
A LOT of people throughout our church about Palestinian rights, with literature, displays, speakers, meals, and witness actions!
With very limited resources, UMKR has made a BIG impact in the global United Methodist Church! Groundbreaking divestment and boycott actions by the UMC would never have happened without UMKR's advocacy AND all the extraordinary partners and allies who helped us.
General Conference is always our BEST OPPORTUNITY to make a worldwide impactfor Palestinian rights throughout our denomination.
But, if we are to succeed in advocating for justice with thousands of United Methodists who come to General Conference from four continents,WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Click the green button and take action now:
Please give as generously as you can, and
know that whatever you are able to give
will be greatly appreciated.
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016
The Constitution of the UMC, Article 5
The United Methodist Church proclaims the value of each person as a unique child of God and commits itself to the healing and wholeness of all persons.
The United Methodist Church recognizes that the sin of racism has been destructive to its unity throughout its history. Racism continues to cause painful division and marginalization.
The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate racism, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large.
The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten the cause of racial justice at all times and in all places.
Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016
Social Principles: The Social Community
Rights of Racial and Ethnic Persons
Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and institutional racism. Personal racism is manifested through the individual expressions, attitudes, and/or behaviors that accept the assumptions of a racist value system and that maintain the benefits of this system. Institutional racism is the established social pattern that supports implicitly or explicitly the racist value system. Racism, manifested as sin, plagues and hinders our relationship with Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. In many cultures white persons are granted unearned privileges and benefits that are denied to persons of color. We oppose the creation of a racial hierarchy in any culture. Racism breeds racial discrimination. We define racial discrimination as the disparate treatment and lack of full access and equity in resources, opportunities, and participation in the Church and in society based on race or ethnicity. Therefore, we recognize racism as sin and affirm the ultimate and temporal worth of all persons. We rejoice in the gifts that particular ethnic histories and cultures bring to our total life. We commit as the Church to move beyond symbolic expressions and representative models that do not challenge unjust systems of power and access.
We commend and encourage the self-awareness of all racial and ethnic groups and oppressed people that leads them to demand their just and equal rights as members of society. We assert the obligation of society and people within the society to implement compensatory programs that redress long-standing, systemic social deprivation of racial and ethnic persons. We further assert the right of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic persons to equal and equitable opportunities in employment and promotion; to education and training of the highest quality; to nondiscrimination in voting, access to public accommodations, and housing purchase or rental; to credit, financial loans, venture capital, and insurance policies; to positions of leadership and power in all elements of our life together; and to full participation in the Church and society. We support affirmative action as one method of addressing the inequalities and discriminatory practices within the Church and society.
See it here
RESOLUTION #3378: Racism and Economic Injustice Against People of Color in the US
….WHEREAS, slavery, Jim Crow segregation, the sharecropping and tenant-farmer system, the convict slave-labor system (See Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re- Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (New York: Anchor
Books, 2008)), thousands of lynchings, KKK terror, and other historical practices prevented the accumulation of wealth and property by most African American families and the legacy of those systems of oppression still affects many families, recent studies show that ongoing mass disparities between whites and blacks in the US can be directly attributed to current racist policies and practices:
WHEREAS, widespread discrimination against people of color continues in the US in housing, education, health care, and the policing and criminal justice system; and WHEREAS, we need a vision of a beloved community, founded on social and economic justice and motivated by self-giving love. This vision includes removing the power of police oversight and discipline from the police themselves; substantially reducing sentences for minor crimes and dramatically reducing the prison population; eliminating the “prisons for profit” system; providing genuinely equal education opportunities for all; creating an economic system that provides for an equitable distribution of wealth, with much larger programs to assist developing nations; reinstating and strengthening voting-rights
protections; and strengthening investigation and enforcement against discrimination in employment, housing, education, and healthcare; and
WHEREAS, racial injustice and inequality still constitute the cornerstone of US economic and social policy and practice; and
WHEREAS, intense and ongoing systemic and institutional racism is still the greatest barrier in the US to building beloved community;
Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church advocates, encourages, and will support a new multiracial, mass movement for racial and economic justice in the US; and
Be it further resolved, that every annual conference in the US support anti-racism training for every active clergy member and for all members of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry and district committees on ordained ministry, and that this training be offered as well to other key leaders among laity in each conference. We note that anti-racism training must address white privilege and focus on intentional struggle and advocacy against racism in our churches and in society at large. So-called “diversity training” or “sensitivity training” is insufficient; and….
See the full resolution here
Five Tips for Addressing Racism with Children
While racism may not be a topic we're eager to address with children, it's
a necessary topic — for they will learn of it through others or through hard experience. See the article
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America
Jennifer Harvey’s book is for families, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. See the book
Vacation Bible School Programs Address Racism and Pandemic in Virtual Setting
Summer months in children’s ministry means vacation Bible school or camp for children within the faith community and neighborhood. This summer, every church is having conversations about how to do summer VBS within its context. Below are two good examples of how churches are responding to both the COVID-19 pandemic and racism. Churches identify the importance of providing programming to continue to offer children and their families hope, fun, and a reminder that God loves them deeply. See these resources
Books for Children
The conversation about race should not limited to adults. Bringing children into calm, educated discussions can help a younger generation confront the reality of racism and be part of the solution in ending racial injustice. The following books were recommended by the General Commission on Race and Religion.
“The Snowy Day”
One of a series, this book by
Ezra Jack Keats, features a black boy
who experiences the joy of a snowy
day in his city. First published in 1962,
the book is lauded for breaking the
color barrier for mainstream children’s
literature. Other titles in the series are "A Letter to Amy," "Hi, Cat!," and "Whistle for Willie." (Recommended for ages birth to 3 years old.)
See it here
The book that inspired an
Oscar-winning short film, “Hair Love”
tells the sweet story of author
Matthew A. Cherry, a black father,
learning to do his daughter’s hair for
the first time. (Recommended for
ages 3 to 5.) See the book here
Watch the Oscar-winning animated short film (7 minutes)
“The Youngest Marcher”
Cynthia Levinson tells the true and
shocking story of 9-year-old Audrey
Faye Hendricks, who, in 1963, was
jailed for a week along with hundreds
of other children following a
Birmingham civil rights march.
(Recommended for ages 5-8.)
See it here
“Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary
People Who Rose Up Against
Tyranny and Injustice”
Veronica Chambers, a senior editor
at The New York Times, gathered
inspiring stories from the past 500
years, each with a lesson for our kids
about how to fight injustice in their
own lives. (Recommended for ages
9 - 12.) See it here
“All American Boys”
The book, written by Jason Reynolds
and Brendan Kiely, looks at the
effects of police brutality from the
perspective of two teenage boys,
one white, the other black. Written
in tandem, the story recounts the
complications that spin out of a
violent moment, causing
reverberations throughout families,
school and a town. (Recommended
for ages 12 and older.) See it here
Reconciliation and Race Relations
The UMC’s General Board of Discipleship has many great resources to recommend, to help children with the subjects of race and racism: daily devotions for kids, books, movies, articles and more.
Here are just a few items from their list:
Making Time for God: Daily Devotions
for Children and Families to Share
Parents will appreciate this thoughtful
daily devotional that helps children develop
good prayer and quiet time habits and
encourages them to turn to the Bible for
answers to real-life situations.
Coming Together While Apart
A Vacation Bible School experience
for the whole family
Join the revolution of love!
CommUNITY Allies should take about
an hour a day to complete as a family.
Our kit contains Bible verse coloring
pages, activity plans and worksheets,
stories, step-by-step craft instructions, and lots of flexibility for customizing the activities for your learners and your home. Virtual interactive participation in our online forums is another way to stay connected and share your VBS creations. See it here
"Here's How to Raise Race-Conscious Children"
Article by Erin Winkler
Winkler is associate professor of Africology and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she has also served on the advisory boards of Childhood and Adolescent Studies. She provides an excellent overview of “what to talk about” when discussing the difficult topics of race and racism with children, and she provides seven points giving “how-to” advice. She also has a resource list following the article.
See the article
Beyond the Golden Rule
Edited by Dana Williams from Teaching
Tolerance, this downloadable resource
provides guidance and reflection for
identifying your own personal biases
and how those biases affect your
parenting. This book is designed to
help teach children to honor and
appreciate the differences in
themselves and in others by rejecting
prejudice and intolerance. This book
contains writings from educators, psychologists, and parenting experts and offers practical age-appropriate advice about the integration of respect of others into the daily lifestyle of the reader.
Download this book (31 pages)
Standing Up to Racism
This CNN/Sesame Street
Town Hall for children and
families aired on CNN.
The show talks to children
about racism, the recent protests, embracing diversity, and being more empathetic and understanding. Bird will join CNN commentator Van Jones and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill to moderate the event. They will be joined by "Sesame Street" characters -- including Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita -- and other experts answering questions submitted by families. It can be seen in the on-demand platform. It will also stream across CNN.com's homepage and mobile devices via CNN's apps, without requiring a cable log-in.
See a report and some highlights from the program here
Podcast: "Talking Race with Young Children" (20 mins)
Put together by NPR and the Sesame Street Workshop, this twenty-minute podcast is a great primer for how to talk to young children about race. Find it here, and see more advice and resources on that page
See all of these and MORE ideas from GBOD
at their website.
Don't miss the resources on the right ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎
As United Methodists are being urged to take action against the sin of racism , one place to begin is to educate ourselves by reading books from a variety of perspectives. The following list reflects recommendations from the United Methodist Publishing House and Abingdon Press and the General Commission on Religion and Race.
Black & White: Disrupting Racism One Friendship at a Time
The main message by John Hambrick and Teesha Hadra is that racism can be disrupted by relationships. Forging friendships with those who do not look like you, will change the way you see the world and could change the world. See it here
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk
Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo defines “white fragility,” examines how it happens and offers guidance for how to engage more constructively in cross-racial dialogue. The book comes out of DiAngelo's personal experiences in her work as a diversity and inclusion training facilitator.
See it here
Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love
Will Willimon, a retired United Methodist bishop, invites readers to consider the gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be “other,” while strongly criticizing those who often rush to speak of reconciliation but evade the injustices and inequalities in our culture. See it here
How to Be an Antiracist
In his book, Ibram X. Kendi argues there is no such thing as being “not racist.” The author discusses the language we use and don’t use in our society to talk about race, advocating for anti-racist actions to make real progress. See it here
Between the World and Me
Presented as a letter from a father to his adolescent son, Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals his own experience learning about race and power in the United States, while offering thoughts on how we might move forward to make the world better for future generations. See it here
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
This book, published in 1994, the same year that Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa, recounts the leader’s incredible story and his hard-won struggle for freedom. The book focuses on the human rights icon’s early life, education and 27-year imprisonment.
See it here
Citizen: An American Lyric
Claudia Rankine weaves together essays, images and drawings to document racial aggressions in society, while challenging her readers to understand that being a true citizen requires a broader sense of responsibility to others. See it here
So You Want To Talk About Race
Talking about race is hard. Ijeoma Oluo examines race in America and offers tips to readers of all races on how to have honest conversations about race and racism and how they infect almost every aspect of American life. See it here
Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation
Using the New Testament metaphor of salvation as reconciliation, author Miroslav Volf proposes the idea of embrace as a theological response to the problem of exclusion. See it here
See this list online