#BlackLivesMatter

Prompted by the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis and the protests against white supremacy and systemic racism, the Session of APC gathered via Zoom to pray, listen and discuss. Although we began by considering what we should say, we quickly realized that, as people who seek to follow Jesus, we were called to action. We agreed that we are grappling — grappling with the power we have, how we got that power and what we are called to do with that power. We agreed to look into our history and struggle with where we are and how we got here. We agreed that much of our power at this time is our money. We agreed that our dismantling work needs to center around black stories and voices, not our white experience. We agreed we are called to grapple together, as a faith community.

While nothing about the systems that have supported these injustices is new, George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing protests, led by Black people, have knocked those of us who are white out of the fog of complacency that our unearned white privilege affords us. Now we are searching for ways to meaningfully repent, confess how we got it wrong, and try to make right our part in it. We will engage in this process together. It will be hard. And there is no other way.

We do all of this because of our faith, our trust in God, not in spite of it. We center black voices, we dismantle, because white supremacy is idolatrous. We find our freedom in God through this work. Jesus shared the work with his first followers. He taught them to heal, free, feed, raise the dead. All that work is in us now. This is our work for this time and place. This is neighborly work – this is how we show up and do the work to be neighbors who love and live in the ways of God.

We join you in prayer for this time and we are grateful for the willingness we all have shown to learn – from movies, books, articles, stories – and to have hard conversations with each other. We pledge to pursue dismantling the white supremacy we see within us and around us. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and prayers.

Invitation to Brave Space

Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” —
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.

We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
But It will be our brave space together,
and We will work on it side by side.

Mickey Scottbey Jones

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