We Must Get This Right.

Dear Church Family,

The headlines from the past few days have left all of us broken, hurt and angry. The murder of George Floyd has re-opened wounds of racism that have never healed.

As a husband, father and grandfather, the issues of racism are deeply impacting for my family and me. I am thankful to do life with friends from many nations. We have a bond of mutual love and respect based on who we are, not on the color of our skin. Injustice and inequality are hurting my family today and the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

As a Christian, I condemn all racist acts against all people. I don’t believe that a true disciple of Jesus Christ can have space in his or her heart for any hatred or prejudice towards others. Every human is created in the image of God. Regardless of race, color or ethnicity, everyone has a soul. And Jesus died on Calvary’s cross for them just as He did for me.

As a pastor, I understand and accept my responsibility to lead our congregation and community to seek justice, correct oppression and to speak up for those who have been mistreated (Isaiah 1:17, Proverbs 31:8-9, Jeremiah 22:3). I am committed to continue to work towards reform of institutionalized racism in the church, the community, the nation and abroad. Over the past few days, I have talked with several African American friends. I have been reminded by these dear friends that one of the most meaningful things each of us can do is acknowledge that injustices exist and empathize with those around us who are hurting. Reaching out to those around us to mourn together and learn together can be a first step in the healing process.

Our church staff spent a lot of time together this morning talking, praying and receiving communion together. We wept as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our hearts are broken by what has transpired over the past few days. We are determined to continue to lead the way for racial reconciliation in our surrounding communities. Reconciliation efforts have been and will continue to be a consistent part of who we are as a community of faith.

Our church is a special place. Our congregation is comprised of different races and different cultures. Although we come from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, each with their own traditions and practices, as Christians we are united as citizens of God’s Kingdom. Our earthly cultural values are not necessarily wrong, but the values and priorities of God’s Kingdom should take precedence. We are members of one spiritual family who are pursuing one God and forgiven by one Savior. The only way to heal is by truly loving one another (John 13:34). We Must Get This Right!

We are not a white church, a black church, a Latino church, or anything other than God’s church. He is the source of our strength and unity. And God cannot fail.

His Kingdom come. His will be done. On earth as it is in heaven!

Kevin V. Harris
Lead Pastor Cooper City Church of God