Understanding Black Lives Matter: A Conversation in Faith and Empathy
We understand that topics like Black Lives Matter (BLM) may be new or challenging for some Perry Highway Lutheran Church community members. However, as followers of Christ and believers in love, justice, and acceptance, we must engage in these conversations, even when they’re uncomfortable.
What is Black Lives Matter?
The Black Lives Matter movement originated in response to violence and systemic injustice suffered disproportionately by the Black community. When we say “Black Lives Matter,” it doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter. Instead, it emphasizes the need for societal recognition of Black lives, which are often undervalued and subject to inequality.
The Biblical Perspective
The teachings of Jesus Christ continuously urge us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). These principles should guide us as we consider our responses to movements like Black Lives Matter, and our broader commitment to confronting injustice.
RIC Principles and BLM
Our identity as a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation includes a commitment to inclusivity, acceptance, and social justice. It involves supporting marginalized communities, including our Black brothers and sisters. The BLM movement aligns with these principles, advocating for equality and justice—values at the heart of our RIC identity.
Empathy and Understanding
As a church community, we are called to empathy and understanding. To help foster this, we encourage you to explore resources that shed light on systemic racism and the Black experience in America. Reading books, watching documentaries, and listening to the voices of Black individuals and communities are good starting points.
Supporting Black Lives Matter and racial justice can take many forms. This might include incorporating related themes in our prayers, continuing our education about racial injustice, participating in peaceful protests, supporting Black-owned businesses, or contributing to causes that fight against systemic racism.
The path to understanding and embracing the principles of Black Lives Matter is a journey. Let’s commit to making it together, fostering an open, ongoing dialogue within our church about racial justice. Our goal is to continue being a safe, inclusive space for everyone and live out Jesus’s teachings in every aspect of our lives.
Remember, as a RIC congregation, and our mission is to demonstrate God’s love for all, as we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). It’s a continuous journey. Still, we walk this path together, growing in understanding, love, and acceptance.