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Update from Pastor Scott

This week has been difficult on many levels. I am feeling so many things that it is hard to sort through it. Personally, I want to open my mind, my heart, and my whole life to the truth of scripture, to lay myself bare to the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. I do not condone rioting and violence. But I can no longer turn a blind eye to the possibility of racism in my life, church, and community. I do not want to be in denial about my apathy toward the plight of people of color in the United States. If it is true that God loves and values all people, then I want to have God’s character in these matters. I want to be like Christ. Prayerfully, I invite you to join me.

This will not be easy. Confronting racial and religious prejudices was a necessary part of the growth of the early church in the book of Acts. It was not easy, and the conflict lasted for years. In Acts 10, God prepared Simon Peter for ministry to the Gentiles. Peter may have believed, as many Jews did, that Gentiles were excluded from God’s plan of salvation. Peter had tried to be a good Jew and follow all the rules and kosher laws that set Jews apart from the rest of the world. He did this even after the death and resurrection of Christ. That is why he was shocked when God revealed to him that the time had come to reconsider the kosher laws. Peter’s first response was, “Surely not, Lord!” He had never eaten anything unclean. God’s response: “Don’t call anything unclean that I have called clean.” Right after that God led Peter to Cornelius, a Gentile, and Cornelius and his household came to faith in Christ. Peter connected the dots. God was helping Peter to address his own prejudices to prepare him for work among those Peter would never have even thought twice about.

Could God be doing the same thing now? Is God trying to help me to face my own prejudices so that I can be more open to God’s activity in the days to come? I would say to God, “Surely not!” at the suggestion that I may be harboring prejudice in my heart. But perhaps God saying to me, “Look closer…” Could this be happening in your life too? Maybe, together, we can put aside our pride, our denial, our anger, our fear, and allow God to examine us.

I love you all, and I am proud to be your pastor.