“You are a beloved child of God,” is a constant and powerful spiritual affirmation at First Presbyterian Church of Holt. We strive to be an inclusive church that welcomes and celebrates people of every race, culture, sexual orientation and socio-economic status and we are all beloved children of God. Because we are committed to that belief we feel called at this time to strongly take a stand that our Black sisters and brothers are beloved children of God and their lives matter. All lives cannot matter when Black people are undervalued, exploited, abused and killed. It is long past time to join Christ in healing the trauma and sin of racism.
As Christians, we are called “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8). The needless and tragic deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia—along with countless others—reignited a movement for social reform. Systemic racial violence and injustice must end.
We agree with the Presbytery of Lake Michigan and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. who have stated: we can and must do better. We at FPC-Holt are committed to answer God’s call in this moment with the internal, relational and deeply spiritual work of racial justice in ourselves, our church, our community and our world.
We know that dismantling systemic racism requires an earnest willingness and long-term commitment to real action. We will take action through our:
Worship—where we will acknowledge our failings, seek God’s vision and proclaim it unapologetically,
Education—where we will infuse awareness about our role in systemic racism and white privilege throughout our educational ministry,
Actions—where we will stand with Christ as we follow the leadership of our Black sisters and brothers in the work for systemic change.
Moving forward also requires repentance. We will examine ways that each of us, as well as the church universal, have perpetuated cultural supremacy. We acknowledge our guilt and shame as we move forward to reconciliation and healing.
As those who are reformed and always being reformed, and who are inspired by the progress breaking forth all around us, we look to God for “justice that rolls down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24). It will be a painful process, but we are a people of hope. “For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people” (1 Timothy 4:10).
Unanimously Affirmed by action of the Session on 06/23/2020.