Mission and Values

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

As followers of Christ we are called to love, seek justice for, and care for those who have been pushed to the margins of society.  Indeed, Jesus declared that he was called to “set the oppressed fre,” (Luke 4:18), and we see Jesus repeatedly seeking out those who were left out of the power structure of his day.  Accordingly, LOPC has identified “working humbly to encourage justice and equity” and “breaking down barriers of separation and exclusion,” as church values.  As the Racial Equity and Engagement Team pursues its charge to form relationships with communities of color and to work toward racial justice, we take to heart the example of Christ and the discernment of LOPC, and embrace the following values so we “bend the arc” toward God’s justice:

  • We are Grounded in Scripture: Our work is grounded in Scripture. LOPC is responding to Christ’s command to work for justice and equity.  Following Christ’s example of embracing those who live on the margins, our work focuses on those who have been marginalized by racism.
  • Our Work is Rooted in Education & Understanding: We seek to educate our team and the LOPC community in order to learn and grow in our understanding of the racial inequities that exist in this country, including the existence and impact of systemic and institutionalized racism. We prioritize learning directly from voices in communities of color and honor the knowledge that stems from their lived experiences.  We believe joy comes from “being loved up close for who we are.”  We believe education will make us more effective citizens, healers, educators, advocates, and leaders.
  • We Act with Humility & Courage: We prayerfully approach conversations and situations that feel uncomfortable or challenge our point of view, so we may engage courageously and hold each other with love. We approach our work with open hearts and minds, and a willingness to humbly explore and examine our assumptions.  We understand racial justice requires us to make daily choices in our actions and advocacy.  We are willing to humbly consider how our power and privileges contribute to injustice in the world.
  • We Will Act as Faithful Partners: We will enter partnerships with the intent to make a long-term commitment and encourage our volunteers to do the same, recognizing that such a commitment is necessary to establish a trusting relationship.
  • We Will Measure What Matters: We recognize that our work may not be measured by conventional success metrics (i.e., meals served, clothes collected) and will pursue racial justice regardless. We will be mindful of the commentary on Micah 6:8 that we “not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

 

Additional Resources

A message from Pastor Gerald Chinen on the rising incidences of violence against the Asian American communities.

stopaapihate.orgihollaback.org

How do we teach our kids the values of kindness, mercy, and justice? How do we teach them about the legacies of systemic racism in age-appropriate ways without inflicting trauma?

What's Next?

LOPC’s commitment to be a more just, equitable, inclusive, and diverse community of faith gives us a clear direction of what our community needs to learn, say, and do to care for others who are harmed as a result of an unequitable world and systemic racism. We encourage our members and friends to learn more about becoming an advocate to dismantle racism and build communities that celebrate all of God’s children. If you are unsure about where to start, we recommend:

click the images for links to more information

White Fragility
by Robin DiAngelo

How to be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi

Transforming Communities: How People Like You are Healing Their Neighborhoods
by Sandhya Rani Jha

What If All the Kids are White?: Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families
by Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia G Ramsey

Additionally, there will be upcoming webinars and classes in order to further educate our community. There is work to do, and we ask that you please join us in this hard and necessary dialogue to be the community of faith that we want to be.