September 18, 2017
Dear Grace Community,
We, the Grace Session, affirm our commitment to Jesus Christ and to the life he calls us to live. In August 2017, many people took to the streets in the United States advocating white supremacy, spouting hate and proclaiming lies. White supremacy offers a warped and distorted view of Christianity.
As a Session we stand united in the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We look to scripture and our church confessions to guide us in this time. We do this hearing the words from Philippians, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit….” We do this not because we have the solutions to the problems, but because we worship a God who came to conquer evil, and so we must speak out against it. When Jesus spoke about loving our neighbors (Luke 10:25-37) he was clear that neighbors are often not like us.
It is important for us to renounce white supremacy and any complicitness we have in it. We know that naming evil is not the end point; we must also answer God’s call to seek reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18). Humbly we share these words from the Confession of Belhar, which is part of the Presbyterian Church USA Book of Confessions.
We believe that Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another; that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God’s Spirit it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought: one which the people of God must continually be built up to attain; that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted;
We continue to consider what it means to live this out and invite you to join the conversation.
Catherine Neelly Burton (Moderator)