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.