Statements on Racism
June 12, 2020
Nothing characterized the life of Jesus Christ more than His loving pursuit of people…people whose lives and lifestyles did not look like His. As a church community, we align our mission with His – we’re called primarily to love God and love people. Period. But when cultural events of a certain magnitude take place the demands of leadership may require comment. This is one of those times.
The death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, has produced a strong protest reaction in cities across North America and the world. The anguished outpouring of emotion has given all of us a stark reminder, as well as an education, about the sin of racism in our communities. Centuries of anger at injustice and anti-Black racism have been brought to the surface and there are hopeful signs of political and cultural change occurring.
As church leaders we acknowledge the pain, frustration, and anger in Black communities, and recognize that systemic anti-Black racism is prevalent in our context. In Canada we have also perpetuated anti-Indigenous racism, either inadvertently or intentionally. It is vital that church leaders and adherents in our largely white churches examine carefully how we may be perpetuating racism in any form, racism which has deprived minority residents and citizens of their safety, freedom, and in some cases, their lives.
The Elder Board and Pastors of Sherwood Park Alliance Church acknowledges our privilege as well as our responsibility to work toward the dismantling of all forms of racism and systemic discrimination, and we invite our wider community to embody our hospitality value by:
- Prioritizing interpersonal connections with visible minorities in order to listen to their stories and understand how recent events impact them.
- Prayerfully considering joining public expressions of solidarity toward seeking justice for anti-Black racism.
- Reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching video documentaries which shed light on Black and Indigenous experiences (especially in the Canadian context).
- Engaging with the artistic and cultural productions of people of African descent, with a commitment to learning the history and context of these expressions.
We denounce racism in all forms, and repent of our prejudices, our actions, and our inactions. We call upon all church members and adherents to join us in this commitment.
As a member of the wider family of churches within the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) in Canada, we also affirm the C&MA Canada National Statement on Racism: www.cmacan.org/national-statement-on-racism/
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