Racial Reconciliation Resources
The following are some links and resources to better understand the issues around racial injustice in our nation and how we can learn and respond as Christians.
Our Beliefs on Racial Reconciliation
As church staff and church council, we want to share our hearts, vision, and commitment specifically related to racial justice:
We recognize that racial justice and social justice are discipleship issues and are rooted in the very heart of the Gospel. We know that Christ stood with the oppressed and the marginalized, and we know that it is critical for us as a church body to stand for what is just. We know that Christ died for all, reconciling us to God, and that His church is to be multi-ethnic, a fellowship of people reconciled with one another. We are to be the hands and feet of Christ, and we believe that being a missional church, particularly in this time, means lamenting, repenting, and reconciling.
We lament the centuries of oppression that the Black community has endured in the United States. We condemn systemic racism and the current inequalities and injustices that continue to exist in our churches, systems, nation, and world. Because we follow in the example of Christ, we refuse to be silent in the face of oppression. We reject complicity in upholding unjust systems, and we affirm the inherent dignity & humanity of all people. In the midst of this historical movement, it is prudent for us to state as a church body that Black lives matter. We recognize that we cannot fully love our neighbors as ourselves if we do not mourn when our neighbors mourn and act intentionally to protect our neighbors when they are in pain and in danger.
We recognize that reform will not happen organically, that racial diversity within our church will not happen organically, and that true reconciliation will not happen organically. Rather, reform, diversity, and reconciliation require intentional effort. We believe that the Gospel is the hope of the world, and we trust in Christ’s sufficiency, power, and mercy to both inform and sustain our efforts. Knowledge, empathy and awareness are the first steps in meaningful change, and we pray fervently for God to move mightily in and through our congregation and ministry. We commit to listening and to leading our church body in intentional action. We commit to continue building a church that reflects heaven and to continue building authentic communities that celebrate diversity and honor the very image of God in all people.
In His grace,
CtK Staff and Congregation Council
Pastor Craig note to CtK Church
August 12, 2020
Dear CtK Family:
Paul writes: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
In a recent message an image was shared in the message that many, particularly in the black community, found offensive. The message used Uncle Tom’s Cabin as an illustration. While the point of the message was to display how one’s identity is based in Christ and nothing else, the illustration used was offensive because of the history of the book. The preacher that day by no means meant to offend in sharing the illustration. However, at the same time offense still happened and for that we apologize. What we continue to learn is a lesson for all of us. We do not know how our words and actions affect people different from us. If these times have taught us nothing more, they have taught us to listen more intently and to care more significantly. I believe no Christian means to hurt someone else through their words. If they do, they need to evaluate what it means to follow Jesus and be His instrument of grace, love, and justice in the world. The problem is we just do not know. Jesus said from the cross “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. So, what do we do? We have to sit down in love and have honest, loving conversation about our offenses – forgive and care. We have to protect and bear with one another. We need to learn what the insensitivities are. This comes as we have real conversations with people different from us. Ask what is offensive to them. Ask what the struggle is. Ask how you can care.
While we will try, we will never get it all right. This is why as a community, we must be filled with love, grace, and forgiveness. As we strive to be a loving and safe community for people of all nationalities and races, we must lean into the graceful and forgiving nature of our Heavenly Father as we stumble. For this, we must continually examine our hearts and challenge ourselves with the tough conversations that lie ahead of us.
Thanks for caring and thanks for growing. If you would like to have some conversation regarding this image or about how you can grow in these sensitivities, feel free to contact us. We will continue to learn together.