June 17, 2020

Dear friends and fellow disciples,

Rayshard Brooks.

We learned another name this week, another in a long list of our African-Americans siblings recently killed by the police. Protestors filled the streets. The Wendy’s in Atlanta where Rayshard was killed was burned Friday night. It is a tumultuous time. I challenge you to fill your time with prayer for his family and our world and to choose a few resources below that can help you learn. A number of us are working our way through the 21-Day Race Equity Challenge , and every day I am on the verge of tears as I glimpse the pain so many of our neighbors experience each day. We must continue to dive into the work ourselves, and I promise you the Spirit will shape us and teach us. It is in moments of tension and conflict the Holy Spirit often does her best work. There are resources below and invitations to conversations. Please join us.

Another area where we need your help is in the world of COVID-19. Living through a pandemic will shape for the foreseeable future how we worship and gather so we can all enjoy both our spiritual and physical health. A team has been working over the past few weeks, in consultation with staff, other congregations, and medical professionals in the church who have been generous with their time and feedback. At its June 7 meeting, the Session received a report that summarizes their work , and approved an Operating Guide that provides a framework for decisions going forward. We’d like to hear your thinking about visiting our campus while the world is still dealing with COVID-19, so next Monday, June 22, you’ll receive an email with the link to a brief online survey. Please take a few moments to participate. Your thoughts will help us shape our work as we seek to serve Christ in this very difficult time in our world.

The world feels heavy, and there is much we are called to do. But it is good news we do not do this work alone.

Peace to you,