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Order of Worship
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Call to Worship
Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 8
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Sermon: The Holiness of God: Awe Inspiring
Hymn: Gloria Patri
Prayers of the People
Hymn: Help Us Accept Each Other
*Musical accompaniment by Chloe Raber
A Letter to the Church
The National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries “the Obra Hispana” in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada
June 4th, 2020
I hunger for a world where the humanity of all is equally valued. I desire a world that reflects the heart, design and will of God. Let us pray fervently and act with holy righteousness, prudence, wisdom, and compassion to fulfill the words of the Prophet Micah in 6:8 to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before our God.”
My Lord’s beloved, the recent events of the tragic killings and wrongful deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Yvette Smith and many more, unfortunately are not new, rather, they are a reflection of the systemic racism that continues to erode the very fabric of who we are as a people, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In these moments, these words, which compose part of our pledge of allegiance to our United States flag, can seem somewhat of a fantasy as we see and hear in the streets manifested through a cloud of thousands and thousands of protesters, a loud cry for justice. A justified and righteous cry that screams out “ENOUGH” with the systemic and racial injustices that for far too long have condemned people of color, brothers and sisters from our African American, Hispanic and Asian communities, with a highly disproportionate number in the African American community. We must stand together to demand an end to the murder of black persons.
As the National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries “the Obra Hispana” in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada, I support this cry for justice and I stand in solidarity with my African American siblings and I exhort our churches and pastoral leadership in the Obra Hispana to do the same. This is not a political issue; it is a theological issue. Our call as the people of God is to do justice and justice cannot be done without condemning injustice and intentionally seeking to be instruments of reconciliation. “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Prov. 21:3 RVR60.) The ministry of reconciliation was given to the Church as the body of Christ, and this is to reconcile the world to God.
Where leaders and systems of government, law enforcement, and yes, the Church have rebelled against God’s justice, depending on their own opinions and understanding (Proverbs 3:5, 18:1), it is necessary to demand and fight for justice. It is necessary and righteous to reject persons, groups or systems that take advantage of the people’s right to protest to infiltrate and sow chaos and violence in order to advance personal and/or ideological agendas such as racism, racial prejudice and hate, inequality, xenophobia, and white supremacy, all which go against God’s righteousness, justice and reconciliation.
I reiterate that this is not the time to be quite, for the silence of our community, the “Brown Church”, has been felt and it is time to stand in the gap as the human race and the people of God until every person is equally valued and seen as God sees us, God’s perfect creation. Beloved, we know first-hand what it is to suffer persecution, to experiment oppression, and to live in the shadows of society out of fear. This, instead of destroying us, has strengthened and empowered us as a people and, as this empowered people, it is time to come out of the shadows to walk in the power and authority of God to help dismantle the evil of racism and racial prejudice. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless and see that they get justice.” (Prov. 31:8-9 NTV).
The voices of the people crying for justice were heard and charges have been brought against the remaining three police officers involved in the murder of George Floyd. Let us celebrate this victory in this moment, but let us not be confused…this is far from over, it is only the beginning and there is a long road ahead to changing the narrative and dismantling systemic racism in the United States and across the world.
When protesting as children of God, whether through marching or gathering in the masses, writing letters to elected officials, using our social media platforms and more, it is important to remember to do so in the fruit of the Spirit which should remain present and be manifested through our lives. In this way, we can trust that it is God manifesting God’s self through our lives with power and authority, and that we are guided by God’s presence as God’s children, ambassadors of Christ.
Church, we are the answer! Let us raise up with power for the one who goes with us is God and the victory is ours in Christ Jesus. We have the responsibility of creating the world we desire to live in, not just for today, but for future generations to come. Be blessed and strengthened in our Almighty Lord, who will receive all the honor and glory of God’s people.
In Christ and for Christ,
Rev. Lori Tapia