The Church and Racial Justice
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
From our founding in 2012 Resurrection Clinton Hill has been committed to welcoming all people from our diverse neighborhood and city with true and deep hospitality, to practicing repentance and reconciliation personally and culturally, to casting a vision for and enabling practices of justice and peace, to creatively attempting to embody God's diverse and united new humanity in Christ by the power of the Spirit –– all so that we might be a small sign of Kingdom Hope, Truth, and Beauty in and for a divided and discouraged world. God has been kind to start us on this journey and to give us some real progress. He was more work to do in us too. So we are going to recommend resources for thinking through and practicing Christian and church-based racial reconciliation and justice. While we're still mostly physically-distanced, it is a good time to do some deep soul-searching and reimagining of what our lasting social solidarity might look like. It should be obvious that a lot of traditional or white folks in our culture have resisted this deep work for a long time, and there is now a national reckoning that seems to be already bearing some fruit in the midst of chaos. It is also true that while there are a huge range of issues and practices Christians can and should support and participate in––currently being led by what might be called more "progressive" folk––the church is also called to have a distinct voice. Or at least it ought to. We can't simply stay comfortable in our tribes whether they be on the Left or the Right. We are to be a distinct counter-culture, for the sake of our neighbors. This will mean that even as we partner with neighbors for change, we might often have differing motives, means, and outcomes in mind. What this might mean is clearer in specific circumstances and questions (e.g. Should our church go out and march with our neighbors? How is the Eucharist already a "ministry of reconciliation?"), but we also need to get familiar with a broader ethos: what might it sound like, feel like, taste like, look like to actually be a reconciling Christian counter-culture for these divided times?
To continue immersing ourselves in this ethos, I'd like to occasionally offer new resources besides just my sermons on Sunday. Here are a few I highly recommend for you now. Irwyn Ince is a born-and-bred Brooklynite, a pastor in Washington D.C., the first African-American General Assembly moderator of our former denomination, the director of the Institute for Cross Cultural Mission in DC, an author, and a father. He has been a long-time friend of Resurrection Brooklyn.
"The victory of God is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, guaranteeing that God is going to unite all things in Christ. Any victory we seek that is not rooted in that victory is idolatry." -The Reverend Dr. Irwyn Ince