Praying, Listening and Getting Informed (6/19/2020)
Dear Grace Family,
We continue to live in a pressurized cultural moment in the wake of protests, grief and even violence sparked by the tragic and outrageous death of George Floyd. It is a moment compounded and further pressurized by our own frustration and isolation due to a pandemic quarantine.
How should Grace Sacramento continue to respond? The truth is, we don’t completely know. But we want to invite you to join us in doing what the church has always been called to do in every season: faithfully preach the whole counsel of Scripture, gather to worship our Triune God of love in whatever way is possible, and pray for, listen to and provide help to those in need.
We are currently considering how to proceed with our Cultural Conversation that began last Sunday evening with the generous, honest and sometimes difficult leadership of the Metts-Houston and Lloyd families. We continue to solicit your questions, input and feedback as we plot the course for these conversations.
Let’s re-commit to our Sunday morning gathering (virtual right now) and to asking God’s Word what the Church is meant to be. Let’s pray and listen in pursuit of a better understanding of one another and of what God might be up to in our midst at Grace Sacramento during this moment. Let's find ways to educate and inform ourselves about this current moment in our culture and how we got here, committing to trying to remove ourselves from purely social media driven news cycles. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to move in our midst, and move through us, individually and collectively as we seek to embody the gospel of God’s grace for every nation and language and people and tongue. This is the promise we believed at Pentecost and that we are being invited to live out in ordinary time.
Here are a couple of ways you might join Grace in praying and listening and getting informed:
1. Join the Grace Sacramento pastors and staff every Tuesday at 12pm for Noon Prayer. Each week, we profess our faith in Christ’s healing power, together, we use the Psalms and other Scripture to guide our prayer for our church, our city, the world and one another.
2. Consider reading and praying through the Book of Psalms this summer. The Psalms contain many laments about trouble in the world around us and the trouble we find in our own hearts.
Here is a resource for reading/praying the Psalms provided by a friend of mine (Brad) at Christ Church in Berkeley. Psalms For Everyone This Summer.
Here is a simple guide for writing out your own psalm of lament to God. Not only should we all learn how to lament right now, but learning how to pray using the Psalms is incredibly helpful in general. We encourage you to give it a try.
Resources within Our Tradition (PCA)
If you were unable to join us on Sunday, June 14th for our Zoom panel discussion: A Cultural Conversation about Race, you can watch it here.
A Message from Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) at USC
Reformed University Fellowship is the campus ministry of our denomination. This thoughtful message from USC campus minister Alex Watlington is extremely helpful as we seek a gospel posture in this racially charged time (Thanks Metts-Houstons).
A conversation between Pastor Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian Pastor NYC and Equal Justice Initiative founder) and “Just Mercy” author Bryan Stevenson.
More Christian Resources
- The Gospel and Ethnic Unity, Shai Linne
- On Black Lives Matter and Civil Rights,OPC Pastor Mika Edmonson
- Speaking from the Heart About Social Injustice, Dr. Tony Evans
- Racial Justice Through the Church, Pastor Efrem Smith & Pastor Bernard Emerson
- Can Rotten Roots Be Redeemed?: The Myth of Inevitable Moral Progress, Dr. Christina Edmonson
- Inhabiting a Common Story, Dr. Greg Thompson
- The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby
- Theology of Race, Dr. Walter Kim
- Racism & Racialization, Dr. Michael Emerson
- Racial Unity in the Church, John Piper
- Race in America, Phil Vischer - Veggie Tales Creator
EDUCATE AND INFORM YOURSELF
- Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (1949)
- Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness (1999)
- Christian Smith and Michael Emerson, Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (2001)
- Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves (2005)
- Charles Marsh, The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice from the Civil Rights Movement to Today (2006)
- Efrem Smith, The Post-Black and Post-White Church: Becoming the Beloved Community in a Multi-Ethnic World (2020)
- Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: The Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2018)
- Jasmine Holmes, Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope (2020)
- Irwyn Ince, The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best (2020)
More in Blog
June 19, 2020Praying, Listening and Getting Informed (6/19/2020)
May 6, 2020Coronavirus Response: Pastoral Letter (5/5/2020)
May 6, 2020Coronavirus Response [3/31/2020]