Pastor Andy's Invitation to Stand Together

May 29, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

 

I write this on Friday afternoon, just after our Zoom call with our pastors. Earlier in the week fellow staff member Doug Hubbard and I decided that our topic was supposed to deal with protocols for getting our churches opened when safe to do so. We need to be careful in opening our churches as we mark over 400,000 global and 100,000 U.S. deaths from Covid-19. However, the death ofGeorge Floyd became an issue that demanded discussion as well. The two subjects are closely related.

 

Why open our churches? Why get back to meeting together? Is it just to sing happy songs? Clearly not. We gather to become equipped as believers because we have the only hope for justice, love, peace and abundant, eternal life. His name is Jesus. He is our best chance for hope in our fallen world. He conquered evil, sin, sickness and death.

 

My friend, Michael Goggins, is the director of social justice at Willow Creek Chicago. He says that the church cannot stay silent from the pulpit or we're culpable. He's right. Tony Booker, Pastor of Lake View Terrace Baptist Church, said in our Zoom call that we must ALL stand together. He's right. Dr. Martin Luther King said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish like fools." Amen.

 

There is much more that I feel; there is much more that I can say, but I will allow these two articles to do the talking for me. One is from Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, echoing calls from a group of 100-plus faith leaders from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions for a National Day of Mourning and Lament. Click here to read the article.  

 

The other article comes from Dr. Jeff Woods, Interim General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, concerning the death of George Floyd.  Click here to read his statement. 

 

Back when I was a freshly minted pastor, I prayed for justice. I heard the still small voice from God that said, "there is no justice, apart from my Son." So, what can we do? What can we do for the dying, whether on the street, or in a lonely hospital bed? We can pray. We can point the world to His Son, and we can, as Dr. Booker said, "Stand." We must stand with those who are sick and with those who do not have a voice. We must stand with each other. We must stand peacefully and persistently for justice.

 

In His Service (and yours),

 

Andy Q. 

Executive Minister

Date: 
May 29th, 2020