A sermon from our Senior Minister, in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor.


Email us at racialjustice@4thu.org to learn more about how we are mobilizing for change and to join us in this work.


As a congregation, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, who have lost their lives to white supremacy. 

Our faith tradition calls us to confront and dismantle systems of injustice that allow these acts of violence to continue. We join in solidarity, grief, and anger with all people of color and commit ourselves to the work of real societal change.

It is unacceptable that black and brown Americans continue to lose their lives at the hands of citizens and police.
It is unacceptable that justice is rare, and slow, and won only through the courage of thousands who protest and take to the streets.
It is unacceptable that murders by police are treated differently than murders by citizens.
It is unacceptable that so many refuse to see that the anger and grief felt by so many is a product of generations living under devastating racism and white supremacy.
It is unacceptable that heavily armed white protesters are treated as model citizens, while peaceful black and brown protesters are met with tear gas and threats of shooting.
It is unacceptable that our society continues to center white supremacy in everything it does – from our tax code, to our school systems, to our system of mass incarceration, to our treatment of immigrants.
As a congregation, we will always affirm that Black Lives Matter. And we will look for ways to not just say the words, but to live them and serve them.

Check out some of our recent advocacy, covered here at PIX II News:


Our congregation has a long history of working for racial justice.

Dating back to our earliest ministers who spoke out against slavery, we do our best to support causes of equality, from school integration to speaking out against police brutality. We wrestle with privilege and systems of white supremacy while seeking to use what power we have to fight discrimination and hate. Our congregation prominently displays a Black Lives Matter banner overlooking Central Park, and yet we know that such symbolic actions are just a beginning.

Our racial justice work is led by our Racial Justice Team, whose ministry has included holding vigils following police shootings, planning solidarity efforts in support of Muslim neighbors, holding worship services confronting white privilege and supremacy, and organizing for the #CloseRikers campaign, including collecting signatures, offering testimony at city hearings, and holding film screenings. Our adult education programming has also recently offered two programs on racial justice, seeking to expand our congregation’s awareness around racial justice issues, and shedding light on the patterns and systems of white supremacy still present even within our own faith community.

This exploration led to the creation of three teams in early 2020, devoted to naming and addressing areas of white supremacy in our congregation and ensuring that our congregation is as anti-racist as possible. The three teams are focused on worship, religious education, and membership/hospitality. We look forward to sharing their findings and suggestions soon!

Additionally, in the spring of 2019, our congregation formed our Person of Color Affinity (POC) Group. Meeting monthly on the third Sunday of the month, the group offers a place of community, support, and conversation for people of color in our congregation. If you are a person of color and are interested in participating, we hope you will join!

If you would like to get involved in these efforts, I invite you to contact our Senior Minister, Rev. Schuyler Vogel, at revschuyler@4thu.org, or our Racial Justice Team, led by Stephanie Coker and Erin White, at racialjustice@4thu.org. We look forward to being in touch!