A Pastoral Letter On Race and Justice

 

Dear W Family and our community:

I believe many of you like me have watched the horrific news out of Minneapolis and the ensuing nationwide protests with grave concern. I was deeply saddened and troubled, I could not believe what was happening on top of the difficult pandemic.

This is a trying time for our country. We as a church grieve with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other victims of racial injustice, specifically against black Americans. Black lives matter. We are appalled and sickened by the violence and injustice that has transpired. We weep with those who weep and pray for God’s mercy and transformation.

As a community redeemed by Jesus Christ, we are not in a position to point fingers. Our Lord Jesus warns in Matthew 7:4, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
We believe this crisis moment offers a crucial moment for reflection, growth, and action for Chinese heritage churches like WHCC.

Being a church with an immigrant heritage and multicultural, multilingual makeup, I believe we have a unique responsibility in this critical hour. Together with Christ followers everywhere, we must start by confessing that we all have failed to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).  We need to recognize our own unconfessed racism, our own subtle form of cultural superiority, and our own indifference to the plights of neighbors. And we ask for the Lord and our community for forgiveness.

We are not a perfect community, but a work of grace in progress. We need to respond to our Savior’s call in this hour. In view of the racial injustice in our world today, I want to see our church commit to work toward the following:

  • We have to deepen our understanding of the complex issue of racism, reflect on our own blind spots in racism, and not rush into self-righteous condemnation of others. We need courage and clarity to take responsibility for our own role and mindset that have perpetuated injustice in our world.
  • We accept the call to bring the Gospel voice of grace to engage in this important conversation for our time, refuse to be passive spectators or absent for the sake of self-perseveration. We will strive to be a catalytic influence for peace, justice and mercy in shaping the attitude toward racism, especially in the Asian-American community.
  • We have work to do in helping our own families to process different generations’ understandings and experiences regarding racism, so we may grow together to combat racism with the faith, hope and love of Jesus Christ.
  • Following Jesus’ example in caring for the least, we need to stand with the oppressed with grace and truth in a peaceful and law-abiding manner to seek justice and accountability. We will bring God’s comfort to those who have been hurt by injustice and minister Christ’s forgiveness for peace and restoration.
  • We will build up cross-cultural relationships with other churches to overcome isolation, to learn from each other and glorify God together in advancing His kingdom in our city.
  • We will be vigilant and prayerful for our nation and for every people group graced to be part of this special country so that we may learn to truly love our neighbor as ourselves.

The road ahead for our community and nation is a long and daunting one. I believe our church has an important role and significant growing to do. Our faith in a good and sovereign God who works all things out for good empowers us to engage the process. We remain hopeful because of Jesus Christ’s faithful promise: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulations, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Let us pray fervently, dialogue humbly, and love boldly in this extraordinary time that our God has placed us.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor David Hsu

Prayer from Pastor David

Resources

Biblical History of Human Injustice

Books

Generous Justice by Timothy Keller
(also in Chinese)

Oneness Embraced by Tony Evans

ACTION STEPS 

RACE & JUSTICE FORUM | FRIDAYS, JUNE 26, 2020 & JULY 10, 2020 | 8PM – 9:30PM | ZOOM
Two conversations on how the church can respond with grace and truth to those hurting. Followed by a Q&A Session. Hosts: Ps. Edward Lee and Min. Andy Lee.

RACE AND JUSTICE BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION GROUPS