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Harbor of Hope

Staff Blog - Charlottesville


Posted by Emma Liddle on

Racism is alive and well in the United States. There’s no denying it. In case you’re tempted to say it’s “gone,” that the civil rights movement changed all that, that we are all equal, that race-based discrimination and white privilege don’t exist, all you need to do is scroll through the images of hatred, violence, and conflict from this past weekend in Charlottesville. These days, it is becoming more and more public, more and more visible.

In his letter to pastors called “Letters from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. called out white churches’ silence and inaction against the social injustice of institutionalized racism. That was over fifty years ago. And yet, this criticism should still sting a little because if anything, the church should be on the front lines when it comes to allying ourselves with our black and other non-white people groups. And yet often, it isn’t.

In light of these hard and sad truths, and in light of what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, the staff at Harbor wants to make this message clear:

We condemn the rhetoric of those marching in the white supremacist rally. Their ideology, language, and core values are evil and full of hatred.

We welcome and embrace all people because we believe God has called his people to love, honor, and care for our neighbors as ourselves. Our black neighbors. Our Latino neighbors. Our LGBT neighbors. Our immigrant and refugee neighbors. All people are God’s image-bearers, and we condemn any hateful, false message that states otherwise.  We stand with our brothers and sisters who are hurting, who have been beaten down, literally and emotionally, by systemic racism, bigotry, sexism, and homo-and- transphobia, and the growing white supremacist and alt-right movements.

If you think there’s nothing you can do: that’s just not true. Systemic and institutionalized sins like racism, prejudice, white supremacy -- these things can be overcome. With God, all things are possible. But it begins with each of us stopping and asking God to examine us, and open our eyes to what we need to change, and what we need to do to care for those in our society who are being marginalized and made to feel unworthy and unloved.

And if you are feeling discouraged, sad, afraid: know that you have an ally in us, and we want to help. We have a pastoral staff and compassionate care team who would be happy to come alongside you to talk or pray. We are praying for our nation and we are praying for you. Yes, you. We are here for you. We stand beside you. And we send our love out to you.

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Visit our Compassionate Care Team page.