Download the Sept. 26, 2021 bulletin (pdf)
Today, we dedicate this new banner as a public sign that we commit ourselves anew to the work of racial equity and ending racism in our world. The banner reads:
We believe that Black lives matter. Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8
We turn to God, knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:35-39.
God’s grace in Christ frees us for the difficult work of recognizing and lamenting racism. And God calls us to respond and praise, to act and serve, not out obligation but from a place of gratitude and freedom.
Within the whole human family, people of color have often experienced aggression and oppression instead of abundant life. We recognize and lament the harm racism has caused to Black individuals, families, and communities. We call to you, open our hearts, O God.
When one part of the body of Christ hurts, the whole body hurts. As we listen to people who are harmed by racism, we call to you, open our hearts, O God.
As we reconsider what we have and haven’t been taught, formally and informally, about race and racism, we call to you, open our hearts, O God.
As we reflect on what we have and haven’t experienced based on the construct of race, we call to you, open our hearts, O God.
As we contemplate what we have done and what we have left undone, we call to you, open our hearts, O God.
As we labor to create a loving and safe community for our siblings of color, we call to you, open our hearts, O God.
Holy and merciful God, as your people we recommit ourselves to loving one another as you have loved us. Strengthen us in the work ahead, individually and collectively, to bring about your beloved community in Alexandria, and beyond.
Bless this banner as a sign of our commitment to real change. Make us a people who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God. Prepare us for ongoing listening and self-study. Open space for discovery beyond our personal experience or understanding. Help us be courageous and vulnerable at the same time, willing to be uncomfortable and to ask for and give forgiveness. Equip us to accompany, to amplify unheard voices.
To not only make room at the table but to build a bigger table.
We pray in the name of the one who has made us one, Jesus Christ our Lord.