God’s people take their cues from God’s declared purposes and plans for all his children. In these past weeks, we’ve seen once again ways that God’s image, his imago Dei, has been deeply distorted and tarnished. This grieves God and this grieves us.
Sadly, our nation has a long history of racism. We are grieving the unjust death of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. We grieve the wrongful deaths and acts against black men and women that have been repeated in our country for centuries. We lament the recurring trauma experienced by black people. We grieve because, even though we are all created in God’s image, we have not treated each other equally and have not extended justice for all. To our black brothers and sisters, we know you are weary. We hear your cries. We believe your stories. We stand with you.
As a church, we are examining our hearts for ways we are racist personally. We are sorry for ways we have not confronted attitudes and systems that perpetuate racism. We are sorry for keeping silent when we should have spoken up against injustice. We have not always heard or listened to the voices from the margins, the vulnerable and the oppressed. We humbly repent. We are listening together, as a community of church staff and leaders, to God’s voice and his Spirit for ways to genuinely “love mercy and do justice” (Micah 6:8). We are committed to learn, to unlearn, to act, to not be silent, and to journey together as a church comprised of God’s children of many races, nations and ethnicities. We are thankful for this diversity in our staff and congregation, especially for those who continue to point us toward an anti-racist posture. We commit to pursue justice and God’s shalom for all peoples.
On Sunday, June 7th, Pastor Bryan's sermon provided insight into ways we can all think biblically about racism. That sermon included a conversation with a Grace Chapel member as she shares her experience as a black woman, wife, and mother. We know we have more work to do, but we are committed to the anti-racist journey of learning and listening. In the days and weeks to come, we will be posting additional resources for this journey on this page.
As a church we need to pray, fast, lament, and learn. The sin of racism and white supremacy cannot be defeated without God’s intervention and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It depends on Jesus’ triumph over the powers and principalities at the cross, a triumph he won through his own unjust, sacrificial, and redemptive death.
In the days following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, our nation has been responding through demonstrations of anger, pain and grief. These demonstrations are signs of the deep divisions in our nation... divisions that arise out of racism, economic inequity, prejudice, and the abuse of power. We know this is not what God intends for humanity. But how do we begin to change it?
Change usually begins with better understanding. If you would like to explore topics of racial reconciliation, please join one of our "Be The Bridge" 6-week Discussion Groups beginning the week of October 12th. These will be 1-hour discussions, led by trained Grace Chapel facilitators, utilizing the book "Be The Bridge" by Latasha Morrison.
Sign up below or text the word "Bridge" to 781-460-6880 and a facilitator will be in touch with the details of your Zoom gathering.