How does race factor into our role as a city-center church?
Recent news and headlines indicate ongoing- and perhaps increased- racial tensions in America. A Gallup poll conducted in March 2016 revealed that "more that a third (35%) of Americans now say they are worried "a great deal" about race relations in the U.S. - which is higher than at any time since Gallup first asked the question in 2001.
In terms of how - or if - churches have anything to contribute to the healing of these tensions, a Barna Group survey showed that "evangelicals are the most hopeful with a staggering 94 percent who believe Christian churches play an important role in racial reconciliation."
Dr. David Swanson recently preached a sermon entitled, "Racism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Our Responsibility." He noted that as Christians we must engage in this issue. We are called to look into our society to restore order; to bring greater equality and justice to the world God has made.
In light of this, we'd like to continue to explore this issue and our responsibility as Christ followers alongside our newly formed Diversity Committee. We will work together to create a safe environment to begin creating conversations, but most importantly relationships.
"I am grieving today for Dallas, my home, but no less than I do for those lost in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights. We can no longer stand idly by while racism smolders and grows into a raging flame. We can no longer allow ourselves an easy detachment while police now fear to do even the most basic parts of their jobs. After my sermon on racism, we created a diversity committee to discuss these very things in our church. I met with Chief Mina to gain his perspective and express support. I met with various minority members in our church, and now we are moving ahead in creating conversations, but more importantly, relationships. Yes, "we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Cor 4:8) We have all been affected, but this is not the end of the story. It's time to deeply engage in writing a new chapter, and that is where I will seek to lead." - Dr. David Swanson, Senior Pastor
A great resource for exploring the conversation further is this article and video interview "How Can Blacks and Whites Stand Together on Racial Injustice?" from The Gospel Coalition. (The article also includes a list of other helpful links to articles from their library.)