A letter from the pastors.
Dear Saint Luke’s Family,
As together we listen intently to God’s voice of justice ringing across the world, your pastors are, alongside many of you, taking up the hard work of dismantling racism in our own lives and the systems by which we order our lives.
We are grateful for the significant opportunities for learning and changing made possible by Eddie Moore, Jr.’s 21-Day Race Equity Challenge, and we hope you have chosen to take up this challenge with us. It is merely a starting place, of course, but we look forward to processing the experience with others in the congregation on Saturday, June 27th at 9am.
While we look forward to the important work of learning and changing with you and the congregation, we have also begun working on ourselves together as a pastoral team. One result of that development is the Saint Luke’s Pastors’ Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racism below.
We all have brokenness, prejudices, and complacency to work through and change for the sake of the coming kingdom. God’s grace will lead us all through deep reflection, challenging conversations, and participation in hope-filled world-changing action. For us, that begins with important steps like this one.
We welcome being on the journey of faith with each of you. We invite you to join us on this journey we are starting. We are grateful to God for renewing these longstanding movements to which the Spirit calls all of us. As we like to say in our mission statement, “we will work to build a compassionate, just, and peaceful world.”
David, Shannon, and Phil
SAINT LUKE’S PASTORS’ STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT TO ANTI-RACISM
As pastors and followers of Jesus Christ,
we condemn racism,
we confess our sins of prejudice and participation in racist systems,
and we commit ourselves to the long, hard work of repentance.
Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were killed
by men with guns,
and George Floyd by a knee on his neck,
but they also each died because of participants who helped and bystanders who did nothing,
because of people who did not call out their racism along the way,
and because of systems that led the perpetrators
to believe that what they were doing was okay.
The endless number of racially motivated deaths
caused by people sinfully using power
to keep others down must stop.
We cannot be sinfully silent in the face of such injustice.
The racist society that continues to generate these tragedies,
and continuous other forms of injustice
in the lives of black people,
must be undone.
We confess our own sins of prejudice,
our participation in systems that oppress people of color,
and our resting in the privilege of being white,
instead of working to change those systems.
Our Christian faith compels us to change.
The first words of Jesus’ ministry were that “time has come,
the reign of God has come near,
so repent and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15).
“Repent” – by which Jesus meant
change everything about you that resists the way of God –
is the hardest part of that charge,
but primary and central to the work of the gospel in our lives.
To repent of the sin of racism,
we commit to doing the long, hard work required of us
to become anti-racist.
We commit to being an ally and partner in the work
for racial justice and equity.
We join friends in fellow communities of privilege that are
learning from Eddie Moore, Jr.’s 21-Day Race Equity Challenge,
which offers daily selections by which we can listen and learn.
We invite you to join us in that important first step.
And we recognize that working against racism in ourselves,
our communities, and our systems is a long journey
that will require far more of us.
We pledge ourselves to that work as well.
The church we lovingly serve has cast a vision,
that “boldly following Jesus, we love all people,
and work to build a compassionate, just and peaceful world.”
We share that vision and the Christian faith that inspires it.
We commit to be part of the change,
that Jesus has long-willed for us all,
defined by hearts and a world in which black lives matter
like they do to God.
LEARN AND LISTEN
Spend 21 days reading, viewing, and reflecting on racism.
Saint Luke’s will have a conversation on racism on Saturday June 27th at 9:00am via zoom meetings.
Do something that works specifically against racism. Pray, Listen, Repent, Write, Vote, Volunteer, Listen (again).