The Bible which we hold to be the inspired word of God reveals that the human person is created in the image and like of God and thus is endowed with a special dignity in all of creation. We also learn the fundamental truth that our human condition is tainted by the wound of original sin. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to dwell among us to set us free from sin and death so that we might live with him for all eternity. In his teaching, he taught us that love is the fundamental reality of our existence and that we are to love our neighbors and our enemies as ourselves.

Within this context, racism is a profound sin which goes against the desire of God for all nations. Our heavenly Father desires the salvation of all people, irregardless of their race and nationality. He desires to unite all people in the Body of Christ. The Christian cannot love God and hate his neighbor, especially when that hatred is motivated by race.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we must work to end racism in all it’s manifestations. We also must seek to address poverty and other societal issues which prevent human flourishing. A truly Christian approach will seek to build bridges between communities and peoples. A truly Christian approach will engage in authentic dialogue in which people of opposing views can be heard and understood without fear or intimidation.

Recent events make urgent the need to have open and honest dialogue within our community. It also makes urgent the need to employ our energies to best diagnose the underlying issues and find suitable remedies. It seems like now would be a good time to consider what our community is doing to address racism, poverty, and injustice, and how we can move forward in the coming years.

Effective solutions will require cooperation between conservatives and liberals, among people of different political views and different backgrounds. We cannot afford to ignore those with whom we disagree, but rather must seek to understand and come to agreement. If issues of racism, poverty, and injustice are going to be adequately addressed, they need broad support that transcends political divisions.

The quest for unity and cooperation among people of good will is not optional, but is intimately tied with what it means to be a Christian.