Black Lives Matter: Racism and the Church

Protest rallies and vigils

Do you know of other rallies or vigils? Please email the Vermont Conference at

  • First Congregational Church in Burlington holds a vigil 1:00 - 1:30 on the first Sunday of every month.
  • Silent Vigil Against Racism happening every Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. in Arlington on Route 7A in front of St. James’ Episcopal Church that the Federated Church of East Arlington is participating in. Folks are asked to mask, are spaced 6 feet apart and encouraged to bring signs.  All are welcome to join!
  • In Randolph, a silent vigil, sponsored by St. John's Episcopal Church and Bethany Church, UCC, is held the first Sunday of each month. Those who wish to participate gather at St. John's (15 Summer Street) at 12:45. The group walks, masked, distanced, and bearing signs opposing racism, before finishing in front of Bethany. There the group stands in silence in front of the church for a half hour. This portion of the vigil is started and ended by solemn bell-ringing. We would love to have you join us.
  • Richmond Congregational Church is holding a weekly Peace Vigil on Thursdays 5:30-6:00pm.
  • Old South Church in Windsor continues to hold weekly vigils on Wednesday evenings 6-6:30 followed by 30 minute discussions about local racial inequality issues.
  • There is a BLM vigil in Morrisville at the blinking light, Fridays 4:30-5:30. The vigil includes 8m47s of silence and kneeling.
  • Solidarity Fridays every Friday 5:00 - 6:30 in Pliny Park in Brattleboro.

Statements from leaders in Vermont and around the country

Civil Rights organizations in Vermont

The UCC and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)


The American Missionary Association, a predecessor body of the United Church of Christ, was a visionary organization dedicated to education and racial equality. The AMA founded six college that continue to relate to the UCC Council for Higher Education. These schools are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and are racially diverse, welcoming students from a wide range of races and ethnicities.

Beginning conversations about race and white privilege

Has your church begun an education or reflection program about white privilege and systemic racism? If so, tell the Conference about what you are doing so we can highlight your program.

Contact the Conference at to tell us about the programs you are doing and the journey you have begun.

  • Richmond Congregational Church UCC is currently doing a book study on Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.
  • Mallets Bay Congregational Church is now reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. They have been joined in their online discussions by members of First Congregational Church of Essex Junction.
  • The United Church of Strafford helped launch a town-wide discussion forum about race and being an anti-racist.
  • Newfane Congregational Church has been using the UCC curriculum for examining white privilege.
  • The Waitsfield United Church of Christ is holding a Sunday morning book discussion on Preaching As Resistance: Voices of hope, justice and solidarity edited by Phil Snider.
  • United Community Church of Morrisville is beginning a book study on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This study is open to the congregation and the wider community and is offered in partnership with Vermont Reads and the Morristown Library.

Say their names...

Since George Floyd's murder the Vermont Conference has published names of our sisters and brothers of the Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities who have been murdered by police and/or white supremacists in our weekly E-KIT newsletter. Below are four of our slain BIPOC brothers and sisters...

  • Shantel Davis - 23, shot by NYPD officer who claimed she was attempting to escape.
  • Kenneth Johnson - 60, denied medical care in custody of Vermont Dept. of Corrections (more information here)
  • Rekia Boyd - 22, shot in back of the head by off-duty Chicago police officer
  • Jacob Blake - 29, tased and shot seven times in the back in Kenosha, WI. He remains hospitalized.

Resources for examining racism, white privilege and systemic injustice