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American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains

Race Relation Task Force

ABCRM has dedicated itself towards the ongoing work of eliminating institutional and socialized racism as one of its core functions. We actively seek to create relationships across the lines of our race, age, social status, professions, and ethnicities as followers of Jesus Christ in both word and deed.


An Open Letter to our Pastors

The Ongoing Work of the Task Force

Shortly after the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent turmoil that rippled through our nation, the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountain region, Rev. Steve Van Ostran, called upon region staff and ministers to form a task force with the purpose of exploring race relations in our region and providing guidance as to how our churches can address race-related issues and build more holistic relationships between our churches. The Race Relations Task Force was established, and Rev. Rodney Perry was brought on as a staff resource to help our region work toward racial justice and reconciliation. 


Early on, the Race Relations Task Force was asked to lead worship for the 2021 Annual Gathering, where it was introduced as a resource for our region's churches. Since that time, the members of the team of have been meeting regularly to try and discern what its purpose and mission ought to be in the days ahead. At this time, we believe our first step is to listen. Churches in our region have already reached out to ask for our guidance. We are currently planning to meet with pastors and representatives from those churches early in the new year (2022) to try and better understand what type of guidance they need. The next step will be to seek training. Members of this team are deeply committed and passionate about racial reconciliation, but we want to be a good and healthy resource for our churches. We will need to be trained to better meet the needs of our churches. Finally, we hope to equip churches to begin conversations around race and why as Christians we ought to be seeking full reconciliation and restored relationships across the racial divide. We see this happening first in the local congregation, and eventually offering region-wide opportunities. 


Racism is a Christian issue. As Paul so clearly taught, what harms one part of the body of Christ harms the whole body (1 Cor. 12:26). It is this team’s belief that there is a unique responsibility on the part of Christians to work toward the dismantling of systemic racism as a mission of Christian Reconciliation. Our desire is to help all of our congregations move toward wholeness — wholeness in God and in relationship with one another. But we cannot do it without you. 


Our first conversation with local pastors and leaders will be on Jan. 5, 2022. If you’d like to be a part of that conversation with us, fill out the form at the bottom of this page and someone from the team will follow-up with you. 


Grace and Peace, 

Rev. Cleveland A. Thompson 

Rev. Dan Schumacher 

Race Relations Task Force, Co-chairs 

Feedback and Requests to Visit

In what ways can the Task Force work with your leadership team and your congregation to help address the various areas of race-related concerns? With the continued development of this Task Force and our shared commitment towards fostering holistic relationships both here locally and throughout the nation, we need to hear back from you -- our pastors!

Please share with us your concerns and needs, and how we might be able to best address those concerns together?

What resources and training can we work on together to better equip each other for this shared Christian mission in our neighborhoods?

Contact Us

Thanks for submitting!


Committee Members:

  • Steve Van Ostran, Executive Minister

  • Rodney G. Perry, Denver Cluster Coach

  • Eugene Downing, New Hope Church

  • Dan Schumacher, Colorado Springs (FBC)

  • Mary Fabin, Saratoga, Wyo.

  • Cleveland Thompson, Emmanuel Missionary Baptist

    Additional new members will be added.

Resources Bank

The sortable list below is just the start of an ongoing database of local and national links that continue the conversation about race relations. To submit a reference for review, please click here.

People's Shadows

"The Prophetic Rhythm of Anti-Racism"

Watch this gathering of national voices in an online symposium hosted by the ABC-USA Anti-Racism Task Force that features a number of reflections, insights, and resources to continue this important conversation and to inspire the necessary action to ensure our witness of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our communities.

Click here to watch the recorded session.

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