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A word to the Church from the General Minister and President and the Minister of Reconciliation

By June 8, 2020June 10th, 2020No Comments

‘We need to be the Church we say we are’


“I consider the sufferings of this present time not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” Romans 8:18 – 19. NRSV

L to R – Rev. April Johnson, Rev. Terri Hord Owens

Dear beloved Disciples,

We are hurting.

We are haunted and outraged by the anguished cries of George Floyd, the gasp of “I can’t breathe” as a police officer knelt on his neck until the breath was completely taken from him. Floyd’s murder, like that of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in recent weeks, is just the latest in a long history of violence against Black and Brown people in our country. The protests that are happening in big cities and small towns across the nation are an outpouring of grief and anger born of centuries of pain and injustice.

As members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we condemn this injustice. We weep not only for George Floyd, but for the entire system of oppression that has kept us from seeing each other as beloved children of God.

Racism and the denial of human dignity is counter to the call of Jesus Christ. Racism is a sin that breaks the heart of God.

Disciples, we call ourselves a Pro-Reconciling, Anti-Racist church. We have named it as a mission priority, and we have worked hard – though often imperfectly – to live that out in every expression of our ministry. In this moment, when protests rage and our hearts are broken again and again, we need to be the church we say we are.

We know that this moment calls for more than statements and prayers. In this moment, God is calling us to act.

We invite you to accept this call to action in one or more of these ways:

  1. Add your name to this statement affirming your commitment to Pro-Reconciliation and Anti-Racism as a mission priority of our church. (form below)
  2. Educate yourself about the history of systemic racism in this country and the ways racial injustice impacts every bit of our life together, from education and health care to jails and courtrooms and financial institutions. There are many good resources for learning; we’ve consolidated some of them HERE and will keep this page updated regularly.
  3. Sign up to participate in the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington: A Digital Justice Gathering on June 20, 2020. This event is part of an effort that seeks to address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism and poverty, and Disciples have been key leaders in this movement.
  4. Join in town hall discussions hosted by Disciples leaders about how the church can do more to help dismantle systems of racism. These virtual gatherings will be held later this summer; be sure to sign up for Disciples News Service email updates for more information.
  5. Get to work in your own community or church. Each context is different, so work where you are and with what you have. We want to hear from you about what you’re doing. Send a photo, video, or short paragraph describing what you’re doing to [email protected], or tag us on social media (Facebook and Instagram: @christianchurchdoc; Twitter: @DisciplesNews) with #ccdoc. We’ll share those stories here so we can support and inspire one another in this hard, holy calling.

Something is happening right now, Church, and the Spirit of God is moving in it. May we be bold enough to join the work.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President
Rev. April Johnson, Minister of Reconciliation