Friends, please read this important message from Rick McKinley, our lead pastor:
I want to ask you to come to church this Sunday. This may be one of the most important Sundays of the year. As a country we find ourselves divided in a way we haven't in decades. Since Tuesday, we have seen an already divided country crack open even wider. Violence is breaking out on both sides. I know many of us are feeling angry, hurt, anxious, afraid, misunderstood and unwanted, and perhaps a few are gloating “I told you so”. As Pastors, all week long we have felt and heard the frustration in your voices. Frustration that has at times wanted to put the blame on someone or some institution. I have seen people on Facebook blame the church, people feeling they can't trust anyone anymore and people saying they can’t trust white leaders any more.
Our country is in a crisis moment, and as such, God’s church is as well. Eric Knox and I have talked about this all week. What does this mean for communities of color? What does this mean for the students in Southeast Portland? What does it mean for the Hispanic community?
What does this mean for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus?
I know that some of you don’t want to come to church this week or maybe ever. You don’t want to be reminded of Jesus’ words about loving our neighbor and loving our enemies. You don’t want to hear His instructions not to worry about tomorrow but seek first the Kingdom. You don’t want to listen to a blanketed band aid of “God is in control”. I understand those feelings.
In times when there is tangible violence on the streets and palpable anger, division and fear, the words of Scripture can feel weak and impotent. It can seem as though the Bible is nly ood for banal platitudes covering up deep and serious issues.
I believe Jesus is more powerful than that. His love is more dangerous, His redemption is more than platitudes and His Spirit is larger than our violence and division. I am asking you to come because we need you, and you need your brothers and sisters. God is waiting for us to be the Church the world needs in this moment, and we can only do it together.
I really do hope you will come out:
Central City Campus (1400 SE Ankeny St.) - 9am & 11am
Eastside Gathering (13047 SE Ramona St.) - 10am
Photo by Ian McNeil.