Shortly after the killing of George Floyd, the College Hills leadership team began discussing how this congregation has tried and should continue to try to make a difference. We recognize that there is still discrimination and injustice based on race in our nation. In that context, we make this statement.
We recognize that the past few months have been trying times. First, we had the tornado, then the pandemic that brought both isolation and prevented our gathering for worship and fellowship. And now, we have the social unrest resulting from deep seeded issues still present in our society.
We are aware of these issues confronting our community. We recognize that racism continues to undermine our society.
And while College Hills has seen an unprecedented increase in the diversity within the congregation, we recognize the need to be more of a light to all races. We are sorry when we have not spoken up in the past. We are trying to do better.
As your elders, we renounce all forms of bigotry and racism. We support non-violent, constructive protest and demonstration. We continue to strive to model the acceptance, openness, and grace God extends to all people. Help us make a place where all people are welcome, where all people have the opportunity to witness the love of God in our church and – through our church – in our community. Your elders, ministers and church staff are currently planning ways we can do this, we will keep you posted.
Whether we are meeting together or not, let us be a people who recognize that we are all part of one body, where we share a common God given spirit, where we can be united in prayer and in the faith that our God is here. We believe our God knows our struggles and our successes. We believe our God knows our pain and our joy. We believe our God brings hope and help through us.
Let us strive even harder to be people of faith. A people, a community, where the love, patience and forgiveness of our God is continuously demonstrated. Let us be instruments of reconciliation and God’s peace, a people who share the great news of the grace God extends to everyone who chooses to accept Jesus as their Lord and their Savior. Let us be a people who defend the oppressed – who bring hope and help to the disadvantaged. Let us call on God and on each other to work to bring healing to our community and our nation.
Let us take advantage of these times, this opportunity to be the difference between good and evil – to demonstrate that no matter what our differences are – we will extend of grace of God and love of Jesus wherever we are. Let us truly make this a day the Lord has made for everyone, where there will be joy and gladness in it.
As part of our commitment to continue to work to address the inequities and injustice in our community, you will find this statement posted to the church’s website and published in the church bulletin. We ask you to join us in this effort within our community, our brotherhood and our world. Thank you.