A declaration of Christian intention (60 years ago)

60 years ago — October 10, 1960

During the past several months college and university students in the United States, both [African-American] and white, have been conducting a large number of non-violent demonstrations. “Sit-ins” have been directed toward achieving the desegregation of lunch counters in large department, variety and drug stores. The same method of peaceful, non-violent demonstrations have also been used in connection with public libraries, art museums and galleries, public parks, and certain other types of facilities in which discriminatory practices continue to be used. … As a consequence of these demonstrations over 2,000 students, mostly [African-American] but including some white students, were subject to arrest between February 1 and June 1 of this year.

We, members of the church, and now gathered as members of the General Assembly of the National Student Christian Federation, believe that God has called his church to be a “peculiar people” in the midst of his creation. The church teaches, and we believe, that God’s people in God’s world have a fellowship which is based neither upon similarity of economic, racial, and political experience and beliefs nor upon skin pigmentation. Christian fellowship is a bond established between all [people] by God, acting in his son Jesus Christ, who is present to us in the Holy Spirit.

From “A declaration of Christian intention,” a statement adopted by the General Assembly of the National Student Christian Federation, which consisted of student movements of Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical United Brethren, Lutheran, Methodist, United Presbyterian, Episcopal and United Church of Christ denominations