Dear St. Lukers,
Throughout the “Reckless Love” worship series, we have seen time and time again how Jesus models inclusiveness throughout the New Testament. He issues two great commandments: to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27). In the life of Jesus, we see how we are to live and how he consistently reaches across barriers of oppression and roots out discrimination against the marginalized with love and grace. At St. Luke’s, we believe that love, grace and the equity of a place at the table of Jesus Christ is afforded to EVERYONE regardless of race, culture, gender identity, status, sexual orientation, class, and ability.
Our work in the area of inclusiveness is vital to the spiritual health of the Church. While challenging, the work is critical to our commitment to end racism and any other ism, phobia or discrimination in order to bring the Church closer to becoming “one in Christ Jesus.”
To guide us in this work, St. Luke’s Church Council and Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (formerly Committee on Inclusiveness) have developed a Vision for Racial Equity. The Committee will use these guiding principles to help our church live fully into our core values of acceptance and hospitality. St. Luke’s is committed to making room at the table for everyone so they might have opportunities to use their gifts and to know they are valued and respected as beloved children of God.
This Friday, August 28, in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we are all pulling up a seat at the table as we premiere our Table Talk on Racism video featuring participants from the Food for Thought on Racism video series. We will dig deeper into their stories and hear the hearts of our siblings in Christ who courageously share their truth. We will discuss both their past and how they continue to face racism today.
Our hope in this series is to model inclusion, which begins with authentic relationships that can change hearts and minds. Our hope is change for the better that opens the table for dialogue and honesty. Our hope is equity as a matter of justice and fairness. Join us at the table as we live into this hope and our commitment to address the impact of the systems, attitudes and behaviors that harm marginalized communities.
With love and hope,
Sharon Somner and Bradley Roberts
Co-Chairs of St. Luke’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion