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Racial Justice

Our hope for racial Justice

We affirm all people are:

All who believe are equally co-heirs in the Kingdom of God (Galatians 3:26-28). Because of human sin, our perspective of each other as image-bearers of God has been tainted. From this sinful perspective we have devalued each other based on race, ethnicity, and culture (Deuteronomy 10:17-18; Acts 10:34, James 2:8-9). This has led to injustices, both interpersonally (unconscious bias, prejudice, and bigotry) and within societal structures (systemic and institutionalized racism).

In the midst of a sinful world we have hope in God’s plan of reconciliation. God has reconciled people to himself, not counting our sins against us (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

He teaches us how to value each other as diverse reflections of God’s image (Galatians 3:26-28) and calls us to join Him as co-workers in reconciliation. This was exemplified and modeled in the ministry of Jesus. Therefore, as participants in God’s work, we acknowledge that we are part of a global church that has often excluded people of various racial groups and experiences from full inclusion. We confess our complicity in creating this harm and our silence in the face of it. We seek to be a Mosaic Culture, where under Christ we celebrate our different backgrounds. We affirm that all believers are welcome to experience the reconciling work of the cross, the table of communion and full participation in the life, leadership, and ministries of Bridges Community Church. 

Our Commitment to Racial Justice

As an extension of our values, we commit ourselves to:

  • pray 
  • pursue a Mosaic Culture where we give witness to every person’s God-given value in our worship, structures and congregational life together
  • seek racial justice and inclusion in our community life, leadership and institutional structures
  • understand and appreciate differences of culture as well as to understand our bondage to our own cultures
  • use language that respects the God-given worth of all persons and cultures
  • lament and speak out against the injustices in the world around us, allowing our emotions to be affected by the pain and suffering experienced by others
  • see justice as an outflow of Christian discipleship and therefore work together to use our resources for the empowerment of people from all racial identities

Our Actions Toward Racial Reconciliation

In August 2020, we formed the Jesus & Justice Collective to deal with the overt racism we witnessed, to consider our own personal biases, and to learn how the church has precipitated and been complicit to some of the injustices in our nation. In following our mission of “learning to be bridges in a broken world,” together we explored what it looks like to follow Jesus in this context. We followed a comprehensive curriculum (see below) and saw countless eyes opened to the systemic racism that has poisoned our nation for hundreds of years. Next, we identified three focus areas:

Education

This focus area will develop educational opportunities and use education as a tool to combat racial injustice.

Community Partnerships

This focus area will develop intentional partnerships with other churches and organizations in our area and beyond who work towards various anti-racist objectives.

Policy

The policy area will explore the various policies and institutions that negatively affect people of color and will suggest actions that the larger Bridges body can do to affect change in these areas.

We are now in the process of activating change in our communities! If you would like to get involved please contact Mayna Bressler.

Steps You can take

1

PRAY
God doesn’t want us to live in division and be content with that. We are called to pray for all people to walk in love and desire peace. Pray for God to change hearts and minds so that we can do His will on earth.

2

LEARN & EMPATHIZE
There is an abundance of materials available to facilitate your learning—and a lot of it is free. Take time to get uncomfortable, make space to challenge your own beliefs, and most importantly—open your heart to understanding the experiences of others.

3

FORGIVE
Seek God’s forgiveness and forgive others for thoughts and actions that go against God’s commands. We all have faults that get in the way of achieving God’s heart for reconciliation but we celebrate a God who forgives, redeems, and calls us back to Him. So live in His forgiveness!

4

ACT
As you learn and grow, share your newfound knowledge with friends, co-workers, and family members. Commit to make a change toward racial reconciliation by donating to an organization that fights for justice (suggested partners), by becoming a mentor, by volunteering to serve others. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou.

resource list

Below are recommended resources to get you started on your journey. Each is available in book or video format. If you are looking for more materials, you can also check out our curriculum lists for the 2020 Jesus and Justice Collective. No documentation is perfect, especially when it comes to conversations as complex as this one. We encourage you to open dialogue with other believers and continue to weigh these ideas against Scripture, the infallible source of truth. 

The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation
Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0
Color of Compromise (Jemar Tisby)
Jesus & Justice Collective Curriculum

Jesus & Justice Collective

Look at what has been happening in the Jesus & Justice Collective.