We the pastoral team and senior leaders of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church write this letter to address the horrific acts of the last few weeks. The senseless homicide of George Floyd has brought to light the many and various ways that systemic racism needs to be addressed by the institutional church and the individual hearts of those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
The St. Andrew’s Constitution says we will, ”Speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling forth and proclaiming God’s love for the world.” In the Gospels we are charged to be the healing hands of Christ for the sake of the nations. As a predominately white denomination and as a mostly white congregation we have a specific responsibility to address our own practices that have directly and indirectly contributed to the oppression of people of color. We believe our black and brown siblings when they say they need us to stand with them. We believe them!
We enter a time of repentance (which means turn around) and soul searching so that we can deepen our baptismal commitment to be vessels who carry the light and healing love of Christ out into the world. Our faith in Jesus Christ demands it.
We ask all our members to enter a time of personal reflection. Be uncomfortable, ask questions, seek God in prayer, grieve, wonder, confront, live in the restlessness. Renounce apathy. Suffer with those who suffer. This is where the Holy Spirit leads and speaks. This is where the good work of healing and reconciliation will spring forth. We ask God for peace that is not devoid of truth and justice. Let it begin with us.
Michael Carlson, Lead Pastor
Sarah Breckenridge, Senior Executive
Pastor Kyle Jackson, Executive Pastor of Serve and Care
John Straiton, Teaching
Pastor Brian Norsman, Spiritual Formation
Pastor Jenny Sung, Mission Development
Pastor Christine Belfrey, Intern
Pastor Christa Getchell, Chief Operations Officer
Patricia Ingberg, Chief Financial Officer