#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 2




  • God’s Word for Today

John 4:11

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman    

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 

  • Reflection

We are all in the same situation as the Samaritan Woman. We are powerless and feel discouraged. Let’s take a moment to feel those emotions. They are the starting point of a change. They lead us to the next question of asking God: “Where can we get this eternal water?”

Every healing process needs us to let the emotions we are feeling to be expressed; to be expressed in a non-violent way, in a constructive way, without judgment on what we feel. Sadness, anger, and all other expressions of frustrations are not bad or good. They are just a vehicle of transformation. They show us there is something to move on from and to go to. They are indicators of change. Let’s embrace our feelings and use them as a power of transformation. How do we feel in our body? How do we feel in our heart? How do we feel in our head, the ideas, the thoughts we are having right now? How do we feel in our connection with our soul, with our highest purposes and ideals in life? Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Heart.

  • Prayer and contemplation

What does the pain and grief in me feel like?

In which situations of my life have I encountered the same type of feelings?

How can I express it out in a constructive way?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on a particular overwhelming emotion that you feel.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.

Let’s end racism, once and for all. One human family, in God.



Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction




#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 1






● God’s Word for Today 

John 4:1-15

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4 ​Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2​ ​although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3​So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 ​Now he had to go through Samaria. 5​ ​So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6​ ​Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 ​When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8​ ​(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 ​The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[​ ​a​]​)

10 ​Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 ​“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 1​ 2 ​Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 ​Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 1​ 4 ​but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 ​The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

● Reflection

This passage of scriptures starts with the RECOGNITION that there is division. There is pain in the separation of the communities (here Jews and Samaritans). There is an apparent impossibility of cohesion and synergy and communication between them. Jesus shows us that it’s because we are not seeking the right water. We are seeking the dead water instead of the living water.

Every healing process starts always with a recognition of what is happening. In our endeavor to end racism, let’s first get out of denial, observe and accept the reality of the pain we are in. Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Head.

Prayer and contemplation

How does racism make me feel?
Where do I see judgment around me?
In which part of my life and with whom do I hold judgment? Do I judge myself and others?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.
Shine the light on a particular issue that you recognize.
Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.
Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.
Together we pray.

Let’s end racism, once and for all. One human family, in God.


Here is the link to the Prayer Guide Introduction



Tune in for ‘Story Time’ on Father’s Day with Evangeline Burgers

Hello, Beloved PUMC Families and Children!

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day and our first Summer Session Sunday School! I’ll be sending out information for Sunday School later this week, but here is a mid-week update!

I’ve recorded a read-aloud of one of my all-time favorite children’s books, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson for our children: https://youtu.be/xc7GdToBYvs. Woodson’s message of empowering young people to resist injustices and break down barriers is such an important one!

Have a safe and healthy week! I hope all of our children are feeling blissful as the long-awaited summer break is finally upon us.


Evangeline Burgers

Director of Children’s Ministry

Princeton UMC



Juneteenth Listening Sessions with Bishop Schol

Since the death of George Floyd, Bishop John Schol has been working with individuals and groups to identify the next steps for building on the work Greater New Jersey conference is doing to overcome racism and deepening and expanding the ministry to address institutional and structural racism.  Our work as United Methodists of Greater New Jersey is to work to end all racism in the church and to be witnesses to transform the world.

Listening sessions are scheduled for Friday, June 19 and Monday, June 22 to hear your hopes for our future.

Here is call in information for the listening sessions, Zoom calls.

Friday, June 19, 11:30 a.m.
Zoom Link  or Dial-in: 1 646 876 9923 / Meeting ID: 970 1267 4283

Monday, June 22, 7:00 p.m.
Zoom Link or Dial-in: 1 646 876 9923 / Meeting ID: 917 8620 2983

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism – Prayer Guide Introduction



On the night of May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested and killed by a Minneapolis police officer, who kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes despite the fact that the victim was supplicating “I can’t breathe.”

At PUMC, we conducted a special five-day Prayer Vigil, invoking the Breath of God to come to our rescue, to help us overcome the long-lasting pain of African Americans, to help us overcome the abuses of the police forces and the pain of racism in general that resides in our country and in the world.

You can conduct your own Prayer Vigil now. Choose where to pray — wherever you are, however, you want. No need to write or say prayers out loud or publicly unless you want to.

You may also choose to come to pray outside the church. (the building is locked). There you will find Prayer Pods (hula hoops, set six-feet apart), Prayer Flags (with instructions), and Chalk (to create prayers on the sidewalk).

Here are links

to a guide for each of the five days:

(Day 1)

(Day 2)

(Day 3)

(Day 4)

(Day 5)

Allow this Prayer Resource to guide you, but set it down if it’s not resonating with you. It is not required.

We ask the Breath of God to help us all to breathe in these tremendously difficult times we are facing right now. We need healing. As a diverse community, joyfully responding to God’s love and growing always more as disciples of Jesus, we, as PUMC, are here also to end racism. We are showing up everywhere helping to transform the world into the Kingdom of God.

Let’s address and recognize the pain, let’s express it out and allow ourselves to go through the emotions of this painful and grieving time. Let’s forgive and overcome all boundaries and finally, let’s manifest our common needs, the universal needs we are all seeking since the beginning of times, these needs that bring us together as one human family, in God.

We are all one.

I am because you are.

Relationship to others, to nature, and to everything around us is what makes us exist.

Let’s drop our judgments. 

Let’s move from a self-centered vision of “I think therefore I am” to an altruistic vision of “we relate therefore we are” in order to invite the Reign of God on Earth.

We are all children of God.

We walk together, hand in hand, against the storms of adversity, towards the same sun, the Spirit of God, which is union and life, like Christ did. He showed us the way, dying for us.

Let’s create and show real human unity. 

Let’s move from communitarianism to the real community.

Let’s reconcile where we all come from to where we all are going.

Denying our roots is not the solution either, our roots are our uniqueness. We don’t all want to look the same, God made us all different. 

We believe there is a way out.

Let’s use the power of our DIFFERENT roots to elevate the ONE stem, so that the branches, the flowers and the fruits of universal love can finally shine in our lives and in the world. 

We, the human family, are this Tree of God.

Deep inside, we all know how to live our uniqueness AND our universality AT THE SAME TIME. This is what real unity through diversity means.

The Spirit of Union, the Holy Spirit, will help us to reach that. 

It will help us overcome all deceiving traps of the Spirit of Division.

Christ showed us how to do that.

Let’s join him. 

Let’s end racism, once and for all.

One human family, in God.

We are a diverse community, joyfully responding to God’s love and growing as disciples of Christ by nurturing, teaching, reaching, and serving all people.

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Continues

On June 9 Princeton UMC closed its five-day Prayer Vigil to End Racism with a service on the church lawn, archived on our Facebook page. Here is the complete program.   Here are some of the prayers we lifted up:

  • We pray for an end of systemic racism that perpetuates cycles of poverty and violence.
  • We name our own need on our anti-racism journey.
  • We pray for the formation of new relationships that we need to desegregate our lives.
  • We pray for courage to become your instrument of change to end racism.

Our prayers and our work to end racism can and must continue.

Here are some ways to help…..

  • To begin your own end racism prayer vigil, here is a five day prayer guide.
  • To see the end racism resources we are compiling, link here.
  • To contribute end racism resources, post them on social media with the hashtag#PraywithusPUMC and send an email to communications@PrincetonUMC.org

Let’s end racism, once and for all.

One human family, in God.



END Racism Prayer Resources

As a church, we are compiling “end racism” resources. Have you found a book, an article, or a video helpful? Please send it to Office@PrincetonUMC.org and we’ll try to include it here as soon as we can.

B  Articles and blog posts
C.  Films and TV shows
D. Speeches and Courses 

A three-session racial literacy program by Ruha Benjamin, sponsored by Not in Our Town Princeton.

E.  Songs; Poems

A. Songs

‘In the Ghetto’ by Elvis Presley

‘Dear Mama’ by Tupak

B. Poems by Maya Angelou; others

“Give me liberty or give me death …”

 F. United Methodist Church resources

Princeton UMC’s Guide for five day prayer vigil to end racism

F. Organizations 

Resources studying systemic bias compiled by Not in Our Town Princeton.


Prayer Vigil to End Racism: #praywithusPUMC

Today at 5 p.m. Princeton UMC’s concludes its five-day, 24-hour-a-day prayer vigil to end racism. The closing event will be held, physically distanced with masks, on the church lawn, plus Live-Streamed and archived on Facebook and this website (click on ‘Worship.’) As a church community, we have been praying without ceasing, wherever we are. To begin your own vigil now, access the prayer guide here. #PrayWithUs 

On June 2 during the Princeton rally for justice for George Floyd, members of our congregation prayed with members of the community in socially distanced “prayer pods.”



GNJ-CAPITAL:  Silence is NOT an Option – Prayer Vigil INVITATION! June 7, 2020, 4:00 PM





Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders of the Capital District,

This week, we have another destructive virus that has painfully reminded us that, for way too many years, it had inflicted undue pain and death on our Black siblings and other siblings of color. Racism requires our attention! Our hearts are breaking for the growing number of Black men and women killed by police, most recently, George Floyd, and, for the inequities against people of color that plague our nation. 

As Christ’s followers, and United Methodists, we believe that racism is a distorted value system that assumes that one race is innately superior to the others that translates into wrong mindsets, behaviors, policies, and systems.


I invite all Capital clergy and laity to join our resident Bishop, Rev. Dr. John Schol, and I, this coming Sunday, June 7, 2020, at 4:00 PM for a special peaceful public witness of our faith and prayer vigil in solidarity with the African American community and other people of color. This public witness will be a statement of presence, prayer, and reflection in the community. We will practice responsible physical distancing measures and will model the highest standards of Christian love.

Our special guest and speaker will be Rev. Gil Caldwell, a United Methodist, and renowned Civil Rights Activist. Other guest speakers include Bishop John R. Schol, Willingboro Mayor Hon. Tiffany Worthy, Charlene Walker from Faith in NJ, Rev. Geralda Aldajuste, Rev. Vanessa Wilson, Rev. Rupert Hall & Rev. Laura Steele.


If you feel comfortable, bring a poster that expresses the Christian values of Peace with Justice, and invite a friend. We welcome children and youth. The new generations need more than ever, positive spaces to express their hopes and aspiration for a better society and world. 

In consideration for others – we request that all persons participating from United Methodist congregations wear a face mask.

 We’re together on the journey.

Paz, Héctor

Rev. Héctor A. Burgos | Capital District Superintendent

O: 732.359.1085 | C: 609.661.1768 | E: hburgos@gnjumc.org


Relationships and Faith Series Tackles Complex Issues

Relationships and Faith groups are reading this book by Trevor Hudson

On August 12, 2017, Charlottesville Virginia was rocked by the violence that erupted at the Unite-the-Right rally. The hatred on display that day shocked the country and prompted questions about who we are as a nation. At Princeton United Methodist Church, the tragedy gave rise to a discussion of the question, “What do we do as a
church and as Christians in the wake of such racism?” To answer that question, church clergy designed the Relationships and Faith initiative. Now in its third year, the program has tackled several complex societal issues such as racism, human sexuality, poverty and women’s rights in a variety of ways.

In building the curriculum for that first year, “our steering committee, which is made up primarily of lay leaders, worked off of three central questions: “What are the barriers that separate us?; What does it mean to be the other?; How can we as Christians be inclusive?” explained Discipleship Pastor Skitch Matson. The first year of Relationships and Faith organized around small-group study of the Bible. Intergenerational in composition, the groups shared perspectives and asked questions on how life experiences shaped and changed perspectives. More than 100 people participated that first year. “The response to the initial roll out fueled our commitment to continue,” explained Skitch.

In developing the curriculum for year two, the committee focused on how societal aspects, specifically racism and human sexuality, often separate us from one another. The first two months concentrated on human sexuality, timely as it ”coincided with the Annual Methodist Conference which was grappling with this very issue,” pointed
out Pastor Skitch. For an in-depth look into how misconceptions about sexuality can be divisive, the church team assembled a panel composed of a Princeton Seminary professor, a heterosexual Puerto Rican man for the Latin-X perspective, and the Associate Dean of Princeton Chapel who openly identifies as queer.

In the final two months of the program, the focus moved to racism and the vehicle was, again, a panel discussion. Among the participants was a church member currently studying journalism at Northwestern, and a member of Not In Our Town Princeton,
a multi-racial, multi-faith group of individuals who stand together for racial justice and inclusive communities.

This year, Relationships and Faith is focusing on poverty (March and April) and on women’s rights (May and June). As a springboard for discussing poverty, those participating are reading Trevor Hudson’s A Mile in My Shoes. More than sixty participants meet regularly in small groups at various locations, with each group having
two book leaders who cultivate discussion. Michael Cabus, one of the leaders, values Hudson’s book, not only for its emphasis on reflection but also because it “is more about cultivating a personhood that is able to make compassion actionable, then it is about how to offer compassion to others. To grow as a Christian, your faith must
challenge you to be uncomfortable,” added Cabus. Hopefully, at the end of this year’s program, the participants will engage in an experiential trip, possibly an outing that puts the participants in another’s shoes and prompts the question: “How would our lives change if this was our daily routine?”

While coronavirus has made it hard for book groups to meet in person and for leaders to plan out the second half of the program, the need to, as Hudson
says, cultivate compassion is a certainty in these uncertain times.