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METHODISTS URGED TO CONFRONT RACISM

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The United Methodist Church needs to confront racism within its ranks if it wants to live up to its name and truly come together, the state conference's lay leader says.

"If you think of Sunday mornings, we're still a segregated church," B.J. Pasley of Clover told the nearly 2,000 delegates recently."Many times when the neighborhood changes, churches move. That's not the united church . . . when blacks move from the farm to the city, whites move from the city to the suburbs and the church follows."

The fears are not one-sided, he said.

"Black congregations don't want white clergy, white congregations don't want black clergy, and many congregations don't want female clergy," said Pasley, who is retiring after 24 years.