We have all been horrified and deeply saddened by the recent manifestations of racism, white supremacy, and police brutality that we have all observed in recent weeks. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others, are part of a long history of injustices inflicted upon people of color in this country that sadly and inexcusably continues to this day.
The president of InterVarsity, the campus ministry we choose to affiliate with, released a statement on Monday affirming InterVarsity’s commitment to pursue racial justice and reconciliation. We encourage you to read the whole thing. As a leadership team, we want to express our support for this statement and commit to acting in response to the truths it contains. We’ve included the following excerpt below:
“InterVarsity unequivocally condemns racism and white supremacy. They, and all ideologies which promote the superiority of one people over another, are sinful––abhorred by God and condemned by Scripture. They deny Scripture’s affirmation of the equal value and dignity of all people who are created in God’s image.” (Tom Lin, President, InterVarsity USA)
We wholeheartedly endorse this statement, as we believe that it expresses a core conviction of our Christian faith.
To our Black brothers and sisters: We are grieving with you. Know that we love you, are grateful for you, and are praying for you. We also recognize that statements and prayers for justice must be followed by action. Toward that end, the GCF leadership team have committed to tangible steps to pursue racial justice and inclusion in our fellowship. Two small, initial steps we will take are these:
We will host dedicated weekly prayer meetings (30 min) before Bible study for the month of June.
Starting in July, we will host a regular book discussion group in order to learn how to better take part in the loving pursuit of justice modeled for us by Christ. Books we are considering include How to be Antiracist, Just Mercy, and The New Jim Crow. Other suggestions are welcome.
We recognize that these are small steps and are researching other possibilities for action. These include inviting relevant guest speakers, hosting a film watch-and-discuss night, and joining with the efforts of university and/or community organizations to work towards more just laws and policies (e.g., through writing to lawmakers). If you have any thoughts on how to carry this effort forward that you would like to share, please contact any member of leadership. We want to make this as much of a community effort as possible.
The 2019-2020 GCF Leadership Team
(Dean, Sara Beth, Austin, Sharon, Rebecca, and Haley)