Churches Reflect on Baseball, Mascots, Racial Stereotyping and Reconciliation

TORONTO, Oct. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - As the American League Championship Series gets underway The United Church of Canada and the United Church of Christ (USA) issued a joint message encouraging members of the two churches to take part in the #NotMyMascot campaign on social media.

"Today, as these teams prepare to meet again in a series that many of us will be watching, we join together to urge Cleveland's baseball team to find a new name and a new mascot—ones that do not disrespect the wide and varied histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples. To do so would be one small but significant step toward racial justice and reconciliation," wrote the leaders of the two denominations whose national offices are based in Toronto and Cleveland.

In October 2015, the two denominations formally signed a Full Communion Agreement, which declares their openness to co-operation in terms of witness, mission, worship, and the proclamation of a common faith.

Issuing today's common statement was seen as an ideal opportunity to share each other's struggles and concerns, explained the church leaders. And their message to baseball fans is clear, "We urge all members of our churches, no matter whom you cheer for, to cheer justly—and in a spirit of reconciliation."

To read the full text of the message, please go to: www.united-church.ca/news/not-my-mascot-just-call-them-cleveland

SOURCE United Church of Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Mary-Frances Denis, The United Church of Canada, Tel: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016, Cell: 416-400-7273, E-mail: mdenis@united-church.ca

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