An Update on the Work of Racial Justice

We are very fortunate to be a part of an association of 2200 churches that are diverse and include a significant number of African American and Latino congregations. We estimate that about 25% of the congregations in the US and Canada are African American churches. Many denominational leaders that I speak to are envious that the Church of God has been able to maintain its diversity when practically every other denomination has split along racial lines. But unity doesn’t happen without some effort.  Last year, I partnered with another DC area pastor to introduce a motion to our General Assembly to study the beliefs and attitudes towards race and gender within the churches who are part of our association.  I am currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Justice and Equity Task Force that we affectionately call JETForce.

JETForce is developing a survey with the help of a consultant that will go out to thousands of church leaders in the US and Canada.  As the work has moved forward, there has been significant support but there has also been a significant amount of resistance. Many would rather not talk about issues of racism that have seeped into God’s Church.  The Church of God has not been immune to the deep divisions that we have seen across the church landscape in the United States.

After the survey is completed this Summer, we will be gathering more information through focus groups.  Our final report and recommendations will then be presented to our national gathering of leaders in 2023.  I expect that there will be lots of positive information and narratives to report, but I also expect that we will find opportunities to take action needed to sustain and strengthen our unity.  I am sharing this information with you because these efforts flow out of who we are as a congregation.  I expect some difficult moments over the coming months as this work progresses. Would you help me pray that God is honored in this work and that the voices of those who feel overlooked would be heard?  – Pastor Dan

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