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Become a Change Agent!

After much prayer and reflection, regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing protests against injustice, and dismal economic forecasts, I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to engage in activities that will transform the church and our community. Understandably, spiritual growth is the primary goal for the survival and sustainability of the church and its people. However, we must also strive to work within a framework of shared goals and values for the renewal and prosperity of our community. 

 

As we have all witnessed over the past weeks and months, our people are crying out for change at any cost that will disrupt the ongoing, egregious acts of institutional racism, police brutality, mass incarceration, disproportional high unemployment, poor housing, lack of affordable health care, underfunded schools, and limited economic resources.

 

We need real solutions, not a band-aid approach to heal our hurt, pain, and to confront implicit bias, racism, discrimination residing deep in the subconscious of our nation. In Sung Park's book: From Hurt to Healing, he discusses the idea that we are dealing with deep wounds... wounds of oppression, systemic racism, injustice, White privilege, and White supremacy that have targeted people of color and Black people in particular, for over 400 years. Park further states: "When people's deep wounds are not healed, they become vortexes of troubled waters, intertwined with their own instinct of survival and fear." 

 

Healing and transformation will not be easy. It is nevertheless a historical moment of great possibilities and a welcome opportunity for the church to manifest God's presence. I deeply believe our evolving church has a moral responsibility to become change agents while building and fostering collaborative partnerships. Community change agents are individuals, religious institutions, and organizations that effectively communicate the concerns and perspectives of our community. Change agents identify and develop solutions that address the social, economic, and political issues that affect the lives of all individuals in our community while producing the desired results to transform our future. 

 

One of the greatest change agents in our Nation's history was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He understood the value of building the spiritual soul of humankind as well as building communities that united people towards a common cause. In Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, King writes: "Religion deals with both earth and heaven, both time and eternity. Religion also operates on the vertical and the horizontal plane. It seeks not only to integrate men with God but to integrate men with men and each man with himself." Black, brown, yellow, and white, we are all in this fight together against injustice to the human race. 

 

So how can we become change agents? Simple. The 2020 elections are only a few months away. The power of changing institutions is conceptualized and demonstrated in the mobilization of a common cause. 

 

The power of the vote mobilizes the vision of a common cause into a reality. At this moment in our Nation, voter registration, candidate education, and turnout are critical. Voting provides a tremendous opportunity to deal with the deep wounds, systemic social ills, and issues that impact individuals and entire communities of color. 

 

My prayer is that you, as members of this great church, will join me as we build teams of change agents. In the coming weeks, I will provide additional information on how you can volunteer with building a Voter Registration and Get out to Vote (GOTV) campaign. Again, I thank you for your continuing support. To volunteer, please sign up here

 

Stay well and be safe! 

Pastor Ralph