A Note to University (and anyone else paying attention)

Joseph Brandley Uncategorized Leave a Comment

From our pastor, Beth Evers.

It’s been a hard week. We have been reminded of the pain and horror of racism that persists in the US. We grieve that more than 360,000 people worldwide and over 100,000 in the US have died from COVID-19. There is so much unknown, so much pain, so much grief, so much injustice.

As I have thought of this over and over again this week, I have also replayed our baptismal vows in my heart. We make these vows to God and one another every time someone is baptized in our church. I think it is important for us to remember these commitments we have made:

Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin? I do.

Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? I do.

Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races? I do.

I’ve been thinking about my commitment to these vows a lot this week, and I have been reminded that there is so much more for me to do so I can uphold them fully. As a white person of privilege, I have a lot to learn about the lives and experiences of my siblings of color. I must also learn more about systems of oppression born out of white privilege and systematic racism. With this in mind, I bought a book and my commitment to each of you is that I will read it with an open mind and heart. I repent of my sins. I will do my best to change and be better. I will be reading White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. In the coming weeks, Chad and I will be hosting discussion groups based on this book.

We realize there are limitations to conversations because they will be held virtually. We will do all we can to keep the groups small enough that everyone can fully participate. Please e-mail Chad  or myself if you would like to join.

To my friends of color, I am with you for whatever you need, and I hope I speak for the entire congregation when I say we are with you.

To my white friends, I encourage you to learn, grow, and transform. May we truly be there for our friends of color.

This is what is on my heart today.

I want you all to know that this Sunday we will be celebrating our student ministries. We will recognize our graduating seniors, celebrating the 2020 Mission Trip to Acuña, Mexico, and students will lead us in worship. I hope you will join us in worship as we continue to praise God even in the midst of this hard week.

You are all in my prayers.

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