In this God-moment – this kairos – God is undoing us. God is remaking us. Among our congregation, as in our city and world, are members whose ancestors were enslaved, colonized, and exploited for economic benefit. Among our congregation, as in our city and world, are members whose ancestors were enslavers, colonizers, and exploiters. Among us are those who bear the burdens of prejudice and systemic racism. Among us are those who enjoy lives of white privilege. White supremacy harms us all. God is undoing us. God is remaking us. Here we repent with broken hearts. Here we listen with humility. Here we witness with courage. We condemn the theft of life from Black people, Indigenous people, People of Color, and the steady hand of oppression and disenfranchisement under which they continue to suffer. We repent, individually and as the church, of the ways we have been complicit with injustice, prejudice, racism, and the suffering caused by our ignorance, silence, and intent. In all of these actions and inactions, we have been wrong. We are profoundly sorry. God is undoing us. God is remaking us. We welcome all: Black people, Indigenous people, People of Color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people of all abilities, immigrants from every nation, white people across the spectrum of awareness. We extend Christ's welcome to people in all stages of brokenness, lostness, and seeking. We commit to doing better: We will examine our lives together and as individuals, identifying and calling out the insidious nature of white supremacy. We will tell our histories with integrity, particularly of our church and our city. We will name, resist, and work to dismantle the structures of racism and white privilege. In all these things, we will need and trust God’s help. With God’s help, through Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will seek the shalom of liberation, restoration, dignity, and joy for all of God’s creation.
Kairos moments are propitious ones for decision and action. For Christians, these emerge from discernment of and commitment to God's will. Kairos evokes the now and the not yet of God's kingdom.
From the Session of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, July 2020
This statement was lightly adapted and fully adopted by the Session in their July meeting. It had been prepared in a series of zoom gatherings of a team that included Diane Estep, Carla Keyes, Shannon Lindbloom, Mary Jo McFadden, Mati Moros, Alicia Neumann, Steve Reppert, Sarah Workman, and myself. The task was to expand upon the Session-approved assertion: “Black lives matter. God says so!” Some of the team (or me, anyway) learned early on that one size does not fit all of us; to craft a statement that confesses simply to white privilege does not speak for all of our members - thanks be to God! Thus came the work appearing in the first three “couplets”. I felt challenged and humbled to be in a multi-colored group that came to agreement on all this statement says and aspires to.
Prior to that consensus, the team generated thoughts, drafts, and even poems that comprised a 16 page Google doc! I have their OK to share from that on the blog - watch for coming installments.