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Racial Justice & Reconciliation

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Bethany Community Church Statement of Commitment in Response to Racial Injustice

In this present moment, it is Bethany Community Church’s identity and call to stand up
for our stated priority of racial justice and reconciliation. We claim our core beliefs that
all humans are image-bearers of God (Gen 1:27), that diversity is God’s very-good
design (Rev 7:9), that Jesus has broken down the dividing walls of human separation
(Eph 2:14), and that Jesus calls and equips His followers to be His co-agents of
reconciliation and justice (2 Cor 5:18-19).

We acknowledge, lament, and repent of the Church’s complicity in racism in America.
We acknowledge our blindspots at Bethany, which often maintain the status quo, and
we desire to see more significant progress. We seek God’s healing, reconciling, and
redemptive work in us and through us. We stand against racism, racial injustice, and
systemic oppression in our midst and reaffirm our commitment to the integration of
racial justice and reconciliation in the full life of our church. We commit to actionable
steps of lament, listening, and anti-racist engagement as leadership and as a
community.

The Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation (MRJR) is a culmination of the ongoing
efforts of many individuals across all six Bethany locations to integrate awareness and
understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity in our community as well as reconciliation
and justice into our formation as disciples of Jesus. For the last five years, MRJR has
sought to help bring reconciliation to our neighborhoods in the Greater Puget Sound
Region and in 2016 this became a Strategic Priority at Bethany. 

We invite you to find out how you can get involved.

In Christ,
Bethany Community Church Leadership



MINISTRY OF RACIAL JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION (MRJR) GUIDING STATEMENT
March 7, 2019
At Bethany Community Church, we believe all humans are image bearers of God (Gen. 1:27) and diversity is God’s very-good design (Rev 7:9). Therefore, we strive to stop racism and see God’s image in all people, including all variety of bodies, skin color, ethnicity, national origin, language, faith, and citizenship status. Jesus Christ is ultimately the One who breaks down dividing walls to dismantle racism. At the same time, Jesus calls and equips his followers to be his co-agents of reconciliation and justice. (Ephesians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Toward this end, Bethany Community Church has made racial justice and reconciliation a strategic priority and established the Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation (MRJR) in order to build a long-term community of reconciliation that restores broken relationships and systems.

Goals
The Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation is committed to three over-arching goals:
1. Building a cohesive Bethany-wide MRJR movement.
2. Actively dismantling racism and pursuing justice.
3. Ensuring God’s multi-ethnic kingdom is increasingly reflected in Bethany’s staff and congregation and leadership.

Get Involved

Bethany Community Church stands against racism in any form. While many at Bethany Community Church have worked for racial justice for many years, this work became an all church priority in 2016, leading to the formation of the Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation. The leadership of the Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation is made up of three co-leaders (Jonathan Nolasco, Shonnie Scott, Scott Sund) and a racially diverse advisory council of dedicated volunteers and activists from all six locations. 

For the last five years, the Ministry of Racial Justice and Reconciliation has brought in authors and scholars to address our whole church on issues of racial injustice, hosted movie nights and services of lament, led numerous book studies around these issues, and organized many other activities as well. If you're concerned about racial injustice, want to learn about its root causes and grow as an agent of justice and reconciliation, there are ways to get involved!



SERMON LINKS

White Awake: An Evening with Daniel Hill 

January 28, 2019

sermon link

Repairing Reconciliation with Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter-McNeil 

October 2, 2017

sermon link

Race & Justice with Romanita Hairston-Overstreet

March 9, 2017

sermon link



DUWAMISH TRIBE & BETHANY COMMUNITY CHURCH

We would like to acknowledge that our current church site sits on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land and the Duwamish Tribe. 

In 2016, at Bethany's 100 year anniversary, we as a church examined our beginnings and realized our historical connection with the Duwamish Tribe. We later began to engage in a more intentional conversation around race and justice and were challenged to do more. Pastor Phil and several lay leaders made it a priority to seek reconciliation and relationship with the Duwamish People. Bethany Community Church is excited to partner with the Duwamish today.

To learn more about Bethany Community Church's partnership with the Duwamish Tribe, visit here

Staff Contact: Phil Maulding


See our Facebook page for related news, engagement opportunities, and events.

Staff Contact: Jonathan Nolasco