JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Authentic love for God goes hand-in-hand with doing right towards others, including the vulnerable and the oppressed. We as a church family continue to look for and step into opportunities to stand against injustice in all its forms, and to promote life, reconciliation, and genuine love.
The resources, links, and events gathered on this page represent an entry point into the conversation. Along the way, we’ll strive to live lives marked by:
- LISTENING – with understanding to both the spoken and the unspoken. To listen well requires empathy, moments of silence, and non-judgment.
- CURIOSITY – celebrate a mindset of learning.
- VULNERABILITY – negotiate relationships with a sense of openness.
- GRACIOUSNESS – the ability to be in community with each other and speaking for the rights of others.
- BELONGING – create a sense of connection rather than silos of difference. (Adapted from Kori Carew’s talk “Just Belonging: Finding the Courage to Interrupt Bias” available on TedTalks)
Like the apostle Paul, we need to recognize that we have not arrived, but instead “press on to take hold” of the fullness of Jesus’ call on each of our lives (Phil. 3:12). May we courageously live out His love for all nations, tribes, peoples, and languages (Rev. 7:9).
June 2, 2021
Bellevue Essentials Information Session June 2 and 3 – program starting in September
Click Here for more information
If you have a passion for learning more about your local city and how its government operates, and want to connect with others interested in civic engagement, you should apply to join the 2021 Bellevue Essentials class. Information sessions are being held in June to share more about program goals and outcomes. Applications for the ninth year of the Bellevue Essentials civic engagement program are due July 23.
April 27, 2021
BE THE BRIDGE: Spring/Summer Seasonal Group
Join us for the Spring/Summer Season Group
Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30pm, beginning May 20th
Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison is a scriptural journey into the difficult process of racial reconciliation. Our group (this past winter) confronted the societal size of this issue, but then dug into our personal pasts, found where and how we experienced discrimination, and where we needed repentance. We studied in scripture what it takes to repent, and then each of us evaluated our next steps.
For me, the outcomes of this study are: 1) forgiveness from God for my implicit and complicit endorsement of white privilege, 2) being emboldened to speak out about injustice of every kind, and 3) to begin a personal pilgrimage of sharing in praise and prayer with Christians in diverse congregations by visiting churches in other communities once a month. Two specific scriptures encourage me in these outcomes – Colossians 3:15-17, and James 2:14-26.
I highly recommend this study for everyone wondering how one person can have an effect on such a large issue.
April 6, 2021
BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
Join us in a discussion on the book Rediscipling the White Church, by David W. Swanson. “Many white Christians across America are waking up to the fact that something is seriously wrong―but often this is where we get stuck.” Confronted by the deep-rooted racial injustice in our society, many white Christians instinctively scramble to add diversity to their churches and ministries. But is diversity really the answer to the widespread racial dysfunction we see in the church? In this simple but powerful book, Pastor David Swanson contends that discipleship, not diversity, lies at the heart of our white churches’ racial brokenness.
Before white churches can pursue diversity, he argues, we must first take steps to address the faulty discipleship that has led to our segregation in the first place. Drawing on the work of philosopher James K. A. Smith and others, Swanson proposes that we rethink our churches’ habits, or liturgies, and imagine together holistic, communal discipleship practices that can reform us as members of Christ’s diverse body.
Date: Tuesday, April 27
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Click Here to view the registration form.
February 23, 2021
THE TIME OF COVID-19 HAS FORCED A LONG-STANDING INTER-MINORITY CONFLICT BETWEEN ASIAN AMERICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES TO RESURFACE WITHIN THE PUBLIC EYE.
Tracing its history from the 1800s through the present, these two racial groups have held racial biases and prejudices against the other, which has led to violent and traumatic events.
“Interconnected: Confronting Racial Prejudice between Asian American and African American communities,” is an AAPI Heritage Month Panel Series co-hosted by the Asian American Christian Collaborative and Be the Bridge.
RESOURCES AND LINKS
From the Bible
- Pastor Tony Evans: Oneness Embraced
- From Be The Bridge: We Recommend
- From Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC) and Be The Bridge: Interconnected
- Dr. Anita Phillips on Instagram
- Latasha Morrison on Instagram
- Center for Biblical Unity
Books to Consider
- Jemar Tisby: The Color of Compromise
- Isabel Wilkerson: The Warmth of Other Suns
- Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me
- John M. Perkins: One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love
Especially for Parents
- Debbie Irving: Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
- Austin Channing Brown: I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
- Scene on Radio Podcast: Seeing White
- ParentCue.org Podcast: Why You Need to Talk About Race With Your Kids
Especially for Kids: Elementary and Up
- Dorena Williamson: ColorFull
- Julius Lester: Let’s Talk About Race
- Celano, Collins and Hazard: Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice
Especially for Kids: Younger Ages
“All life has inestimable value: even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”