Culture Posts

Dear Church, from Karl

This is part of a series of posts inviting friends to share their perspectives.

Sit.

Just sit with me.

This is the beginning of the process.

In the Book of Job, we meet a man named Job who in an instant has his world turned upside down. Job is weary, tired, and seemingly hopeless. Then three of his friends pay him a visit.

“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”

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Dear Church, from Ty

This is part of a series of posts inviting friends to share their perspectives.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ty. I have the privilege of leading worship each and every week. My real name; however, is Tyrone, because I realized, when I was a child, that my opportunities may be limited based on my name and darker skin hue. I am a son of two strong, black parents, who are fearful that one day they could watch a video of their son being murdered and it be plastered all over social media. These past few weeks have made me feel like some people value my talent, but not my life. I am a brother, uncle, and friend. I am a human, and I am tired…

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Dear Church, from Robert

This is part of a series of posts inviting friends to share their perspectives.

In the face of adversity, it would seem that sharing a message with the people you consider your brothers and sisters in Christ would be easy, but the truth is that members of our church community have been silent and looked the other way for many years as if a problem never existed. Many of us have been ok with our society’s label of blacks having a “victim mentality,” so have not prioritized our time, energy, or resources to uncover the truths of that statement. I want to say that I love each and every one of you and am thankful to have a God whose ultimate sacrifice was to transfer our sins onto Him so that we may live in peace with one another.   

I am troubled and my heart aches by the recent events our nation is experiencing. There are no words when you see an unarmed black man killed, beaten, harassed, and given unfair judgment… but then witness the people who have done those acts get a slap on the hand and move on as if nothing ever happened. Please understand church, that this is a direct result of the anger black communities are experiencing and enough is enough. 

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Dear Church, from Roosevelt

This is part of a series of posts inviting friends to share their perspectives.

Dear Church,

Thank you, for leaning into this problem of racism and inequality, with a heart for understanding the perspective of the marginalized.

Like you, my heart breaks for the fact that people feel that violence is an answer. I understand it. I fight the same feelings. Undoubtedly you have also felt the same but probably for different reasons. At one time we all thought peaceful was working until everyone got cameras in their pockets and we were able to see the reality, that nothing has changed. I believe the church should be the catalyst for the change.

Let me begin by saying I am black and I am white. I am also a Jesus follower. I have been discriminated to my face and denied opportunities behind my back in ways that I can only attribute to the fact that my name is ethnic, and my photo has darker skin.

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Dear Church, from Corey

This is part of a series of posts inviting friends to share their perspectives.

To my Christian brothers and sisters, 

This has been a very rough week for me. I have experienced some very intense emotions: with most of them coupled with anger and disappointment. When Pastor Jeremy asked me to write an article for his blog, I agreed immediately. I took a couple days to try and stable myself emotionally before I started writing. I did not want my anger to guide my words. I simply wanted to speak my truth. Before I move forward, I would like to give you a little background of who I am. 

I am an African American man born in the south, near the end of the Vietnam War. I am an educator by profession with an undergraduate degree in religious studies and English, a graduate degree in education and a doctorate in Organizational Psychology. Presently, I go to different school districts and help create systems that provide successful and equitable opportunities for students and staff. I was recruited to the Portland metro area for this very reason. 

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Dear Church, from Jon

This is the first post in a series of posts inviting friends to share their perspectives.

Before you proceed, I want to let you know that you may experience some turbulence while reading this post.

Dear church, to those who find themselves shocked, outraged, disappointed, and appalled by the recent protests in our country; to those who are angry and saddened as buildings burned, stores looted, and vehicles vandalized, I want you to know that I share your emotions.

But not for the same reasons.

I need you to understand that “things taste different” to a person of color. I have tasted more about our humanity as a church and our inhumanity in our perspective. I have tasted the utter contempt of NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem and then the initial silence of an officer placing his knee on the back of an unarmed and detained black man.

…silence tastes different.

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