The issues of race, racism, and injustice are at the forefront of our national and even global conversation. Understandably, many in our congregation have been deeply affected and are searching for gospel-centered ways to process the acts of injustice that are filling our headlines. Cherrydale desires to respond in a way that provides care for those who are hurting, guidance for those who are confused, and new awareness to those who do not see a problem. With that in mind, our Elder Council has proposed the following goals:
- To face the issues of racism and injustice in a biblically grounded, gospel-centered, and relational way
- To equip our church family by providing a variety of learning opportunities on how to process these issues through a biblical lens
- To express our hope for biblical unity in ethnic diversity as we seek to become agents of reconciliation in our church family and beyond
Our prayer is that Cherrydale would be a grace-infused environment in which you feel safe to wrestle with questions and to express your feelings with gentleness and love for one another.
KEY INITIATIVES ON RACE & THE GOSPEL
Toward these ends, we have encouraged our church family to pray and consider participating in one or more of the following initiatives for learning and processing this issue together:
KEY INITIATIVES: DETAILS
Conversations on Race and the Gospel
Small group settings are generally the best environment for processing these tough issues in community together as the Body of Christ. This fall, we launched “Conversations on Race and the Gospel” – small groups for learning, discussing, processing, and applying biblical truth related to race, racism, and justice.
These Conversations Groups are reading through two books together that we believe will be useful:
Trained leaders from our church family are leading the Conversation Groups, which are meeting wherever is safest due to COVID-19, either on Zoom, in person, or an in-person/Zoom hybrid format.
Because our ability to offer these groups depends on having enough trained leaders, these groups are currently full.
Elder Council Position Paper: ‘Christian Unity in Ethnic Diversity’
This fall, the elder council released a position paper “Christian Unity in Ethnic Diversity.” In the paper, the elders write:
“This paper explains some of the important truths we have learned from God’s Word and describes the vision He has given us as leaders of Cherrydale Baptist Church with respect to race, racism, and justice.
- God planned before the foundation of time to display His glory through a diverse people unified by His redeeming grace, and He unfolds this plan beautifully in His Word.
- We recognize that since Jesus’ death and resurrection, some Christians have struggled—at times in profound and painful ways—to embrace this wonderful, diverse vision. Others have captured this biblical vision and committed themselves to its fulfillment.
- We desire our church family, in all its diversity, to be united in joyful, authentic worship
of our glorious king Jesus and a steadfast commitment to make disciples of all nations.
Download the full paper here.
Seminar on Christian Unity in Ethnic Diversity
On October 18, Cherrydale elders held a seminar to teach through their position paper on Christian Unity in Ethnic Diversity and lead the church family in an extended time of prayer together. Watch the recording of this event below.
Panel Discussion on Christian Unity in Ethnic Diversity
On Sunday, December 6th, Cherrydale hosted an event featuring three panels of church members and leaders for further learning, dialogue, and prayer on this topic with one another. These panels covered FAQs, shared personal testimonies, and considered application for our church and community. Watch the recording of this event below:
We invite your comments, questions, and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.