Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I imagine that you are horrified - as am I - by all of the racist acts taking place around our country. These fly in the face of our understanding of how God has created all of humanity in God’s image, therefore making all lives equal and precious. I sent an invitation to our Council last week, and am now inviting us all - the people of Redeemer, as a community of faith for the world - to enter a time of prayer and action so that we might be "useful in Christ's Hands" in the work of Undoing Racism. This invitation starts now, and will likely stretch forever forward, for as long as the scourge of racism and other “isms” exist on this side of heaven, we will need Christ to equip us with the courage to rise up for the sake of Christ’s justice and love.
Specific steps I am hoping you will join me in taking:
- Pray. A lot, both for everyone in need, and for how and what we as a community can do.
- Read Up. On the Metropolitan New York Synod Anti-Racism Task Force “Every Congregation Challenge” by following this link: https://www.mnys.org/our-work/antiracism-committee/. Also consider reading this excellent article at Sojourners Magazine. It was written in 2017 and still pertinent today: https://sojo.net/articles/our-white-friends-desiring-be-allies
- Attend. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is planning something on June 17th. It’s a Wednesday so I am hoping that what takes place during the day will also be available for viewing afterwards. If it’s an evening event, then I hope that as many of us as possible we can begin planning to attend that evening.
- Finally, Pray again. A lot. So that our prayers lead to action and our actions lead to prayers in a grand repeating chorus of God’s grace for the world. And please share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas with me and others so that we can be discerning in ongoing fashion how we as the Redeemer community can be useful in Christ's Hands as we share Christ's Welcome for the World - Undoing Racism.
Please join me in praying right now: Almighty God, our hearts cry out to you, joining the voices and hearts of all the marginalized, but especially our sisters and brothers of other races and nationalities. Help us to find ways to make a difference, not just while the crisis manages to capture the evening news, but for the long haul. Through Christ we pray, amen.
Thank you all.
Yours in Christ, Pastor Tobias