The Belhar Confession: An Introduction

The Belhar Confession is about speaking the gospel in a time of rampant racial oppression. Those currents continue to run strongly in the USA, and the current COVID-19 crisis has only fanned the flames. The PC(USA)’s newest confession has much for us to hear in this moment lest the temporary social distancing necessary for physical help ultimately result in exacerbating white supremacism’s harmful social distancing from racial and otherwise minority communities.

The PC(USA) adopted the Belhar Confession as part of its Book of Confessions at the 222nd General Assembly in 2016.

Presbyteries and local congregations were asked to engage with the confession as part of the church’s process of discernment. So in the Fall of 2015, I worked with some of the other leaders of my congregation – St. Charles Presbyterian Church – to organize a four-week adult education series on the confession. It was my job to provide the introductory session, covering Belhar’s background and significance.

I didn’t record that material at the time, but I came across that material again recently and thought that it might be worth sharing. Follow the links above for more resources on Belhar, as well as the text of the confession itself.





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