ANTI-RACISM STATEMENT June 24, 2020
From the Session:
We join with people of faith all over the country, and indeed the world, in condemning and mourning the recent deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Brionna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
We recognize that their murders are only the most recent and visible in a pattern, system, and history of violence against black individuals and communities in the United States that goes back more than 400 years. Their deaths are not the result of individual racist “bad apples,” but of systemic white supremacy that theologian Jim Wallis has called “America’s original sin.” Like the theological concept of original sin, this is something we are all born into, and in which we are all inextricably enmeshed.
As a predominantly white Christian community of faith, we denounce racism, white supremacy, and discrimination in all of their many forms, both personal and systemic, as sin, and antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ, who taught that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mat. 22:35-40, Mk 12:28-31, Lk 10:25-28, Jn 13:31-35). We also acknowledge the ways we, as individuals and as a community, are complicit in these systems, and commit ourselves to dismantling white supremacy in ourselves, our church, and our towns, counties, state, and country.
LGBTQIA+ AFFIRMING & INCLUSIVE
At its stated meeting of September 16, 2019, the session of Grace United Presbyterian Church voted to officially become an LGBTQIA+ affirming and inclusive congregation. This vote followed approximately two years of discussion, study, prayer and discernment, and was informed by a congregational survey conducted over the two preceding months.
What this means is that LGBTQIA+ folks are not merely "welcome" at Grace United. We affirm your identity and sexuality-- indeed, all of who you are-- as a gift from God, created in God's own holy image. And we are committed to your full inclusion in the life, leadership, mission, and ministry of the church. There are no barriers to your full participation in the life of the church.