Our faith teaches us that each person is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and therefore has intrinsic worth and value. So when Jesus proclaimed the good news of the gospel, did he not call for accountability and change from the hands of oppressors? Jesus was all about love, equality and justice.
Our faith’s teachings tell us that each person is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and therefore has intrinsic worth and value. So why when Jesus proclaimed good news to the poor, release to the jailed, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:16-19) did he not mention the rich, the prison-owners, the sighted and the oppressors? What conclusion are we to draw from this? Doesn’t Jesus care about all lives?
Black lives matter. This is an obvious truth in light of God’s love for all God’s children. But this has not been the experience for many in the U.S. In recent years, young black males were 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police than their white counterparts. Black women in crisis are often met with deadly force. Transgender people of color face greatly elevated negative outcomes in every area of life.
When Black lives are systemically devalued by society, our outrage justifiably insists that attention be focused on Black lives.
When a church claims boldly “Black Lives Matter” at this moment, it chooses to show up intentionally against all given societal values of supremacy and superiority or common-sense complacency. By insisting on the intrinsic worth of all human beings, Jesus models for us how God loves justly, and how his disciples can love publicly in a world of inequality. We live out the love of God justly by publicly saying #BlackLivesMatter.
~United Church of Christ
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
- In The Awareness and Understanding of One Another, We Find Each Other-
"When people rely on surface appearances and false racial stereotypes, rather than an in-depth knowledge at the level of heart, mind, and spirit, our ability to assess and understand accurately is compromised." James A. Forbes
According to The United States Department of Justice 10.9% of reported hate crimes target Hispanic and Latino Americans. Hispanics and Latinos come from all over, it is important that we understand and welcome all of our people and obtain the knowledge of which language we use to refer to how they identify. Very similar to the many cultures of people and different languages that were present in the synagogues of Jesus' time. These communities make up over 15% of our current population and are expected to rise to 30% by 2050. We believe that it is important to raise awareness and to be an all inclusive community of faith in our melting pot of God's world. Simply put, there is no room for hate in love.
There is no such thing as "going back to where you came from". This is an ignorant statement that undermines God's creation of an earth that is owned by no human. Our world is but a gift, graced to us, temporarily by the hand of our creator. It is our belief that there isn't a place on this earth where a beloved soul wishes to call home in loving desire, that should have a threat of that being taken away or for them to be told that they don't belong. Nor do we believe that there is a language to be spoken that holds more value than another. Each language is a sacred part of the culture that it represents and we give respect and appreciation for each tongue of God's design. In Genesis, God created all things and declared them to be good. Our faith doesn't teach us to divide, rather it teaches us to come together in unity. Jesus' last request was simple. "Love One Another As I Have Loved You."
Our country is rapidly changing. As we approach the year 2050, our nation will be increasingly more diverse, and Latinos will be one of the forces driving this demographic change. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate, there are roughly 50.5 million Hispanics representing about 16 percent of the U.S. population. By 2050, when demographers tell us that there will be no racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States, it is projected that the Latino population will double to 30 percent.
In recent times, there has been an overwhelmingly alarming increase of hate crimes directed toward our Asian brothers and sisters in America. The spike in crime has been an escalation of misdirected emotion and blame in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This behavior is incredibly unacceptable and injurious to the people of our communities and does not reflect the love and care that we are called to treat one another with. Prior to the pandemic, 3.3% of Asian-Americans were targeted in hate crimes according to The United States Department of Justice. That number has continued to rise over the course of 2020, heading into 2021. Our church stands with our Asian brothers and sisters of the world to raise awareness for those who have been targeted during this time. It is with loving support that we speak up and say something when see or hear of heinous acts being committed out of misdirected hate and anger toward others. "We believe that when we do not say something, WE ARE SAYING SOMETHING". -Kirk Franklin
In response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center on March 19, 2020. The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
"There are good people that come from other religions, practices and belief systems, who want the best for our world. We must STOP trying to see the heart of an individual by attempting to figure out which box they belong to, so that we can stare at the cardboard."