Honor. Enlighten. Listen. Pray.
God is calling us to respond to racism, violence and conflict in our culture, and Burke Community Church is listening. On this page, you will find more information on specifically how we are going about this. In a word (and an acronym), we H.E.L.P. In the spirit of the language of God’s people (Hebrew), we read the acronym from right to left. First, and always, we Pray for one another. Second, we Listen to one another. Third, we become Enlightened by one another. Fourth, we Honor one another through unity and action. In all of this, we seek our true identity in our Savior, who prays for us, listens to our cries, enlightens us about our sin, and honored us through His actions; His incarnation, His crucifixion, His death, and above all, His resurrection.
First and foremost, we are to honor God with our lives (1 Pet. 3:15; Deut. 6:5; Prov. 3:9). In doing so, we also strive to honor all people, created by God and made in His image, regardless of race, ethnicity or occupation (1 Pet. 2:17; Rom 12:10). Honoring means respect and it means action. Having prayed, listened and become enlightened, we will take action to shine the light and love of Christ into the darkness of division. Discerning what God calls us to do may take time and patience, but as we are led we will share opportunities for action.
Enlightenment comes from listening and learning (Prov. 18:13; James 1:19). We must listen both as a church and individually. So as we embark on a listening and learning journey as a church, we encourage all members of our body to do the same in their own lives. And as we undertake the listening process, we will share here opportunities and resources God provides to help us understand the experiences of people of color as well as law enforcement.
After praying, the next step we are taking is to ask both our brothers and sisters of color and our brothers and sisters in the law enforcement community to share their experiences with us. Our only role at this point is to listen and take in what they have to share. Our desire is to engage with people of color both within our body and outside of it. If you are interested in sharing your experiences, please contact Pastor of Missions and Outreach Alec Zacaroli. Finally, remember that it is not only up to the church. As individuals, we are called to learn to listen too. We encourage you to take this time to seek out opportunities to talk with people who may not be like you, you may be amazed what you learn in the process.
One of the most important thing we can do in times of strife (and in all times for that matter) is pray (1 Thes. 5:17; Phil. 4:6; Jer. 33:3). It is only through the movement of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God that we can overcome the devastation Satan sows in our world and heal the wounds he inflicts through division. So please pray with us daily for the unity of the church and an end to racism, violence and all forms of evil that plague humanity today. For upcoming prayer opportunities click HERE.
Tim Keller, “Racism and Corporate Evil: A White Guy’s Perspective,” Aug. 26,2017 YouTube Video
How to Talk With Your Kids About Racial Differences, Focus on the Family Article
Oneness Embraced with Tony Evans, Right Now Media
What Good Listeners Actually Do, Article by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman
Code 9: Officer Needs Assistance, Documentary on PTSD and other challenges faced by police officers.
InterVarsity Resources, Various resources available from InterVarsity on race and diversity.
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