May 26, 2022 | Nancy Van Epps
by Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging Director, Tania Oro-Hahn
“We believe that every member of our community is a beloved child of God, uniquely designed and unconditionally loved.” (DEIB statement)
Our country is feeling the effects of cultural tribalism, of moving further away from connection. Hate that leads to killing is an attempt at creating lines in the sand, a hedging into curated communities with like values, like features, like goals. And this horrible mistake–which we ourselves do not want to commit–can easily become reality, not just for the extremists but for all of us. And it is the opposite of our call as Christians. In our separating, we lose connection with each other, and we become less, not more human.
“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” That is our hallmark. It is our call to love radically.
I would like to suggest that our tribalism, our self-selecting is dangerous and the opposite of God’s call for us all. We can not live in silos of our making. We live together in our communities with all our differences, cultures, values, goals, and voting preferences. We are one. There is no line that can separate us from each other. We live together on this one planet. We all share in resources and illness alike. We are one, for better and for worse. When extremist kill Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Queer, or you fill-in-the blank, they kill our community member, our families, our neighbors. We are all affected by hate.
I recognize we may not approach our view of scripture, view of gender, view of politics the same way. It is because of that I would like to suggest that we push in and not out of community. Come close and help us ask questions. Come close and help us worship God together. Come close and help us live out our vision to be a people of radical hospitality and welcome.
To that end, on June 2 Marian Edmonds-Allen will share a way to enter into difficult conversations called covenantal pluralism. It will not tell us what to think but rather help us see the dignity in what others say. It will help us engage in thoughtful discourse. Please come and help us develop a shared language that will build connection in our diverse community.
Next year our school will provide staff, students, and families with training on conflict resolution and restorative justice so we can better engage in our differences. We do not seek sameness but equity. We do not seek one way of thinking but rather dignity in our conversations. Come build something beautiful with us.
We are committed to being a school of love and belonging and we are thankful that you have decided to join us in that adventure. Please join us in prayer: God of belonging, may your kingdom come among us. Make our school a place of welcome.
Click here for more information and to register for the Come Learn with Us speaker event.