If you’ve passed by the church lately you might have noticed a new sign out front. It reads, “Racism is a sin. Love your neighbor.”
We’d like to tell you why our Deacons and Church Council unanimously voted to place this sign on our property. This summer has been a time of reckoning for us as a country. We are beginning to face the many ways in which racism has shaped our society, and the lives of so many.
We have heard, with great alarm, about the racism that has been experienced by members of our community. Students from Phillips Exeter have talked about drivers that pass them in the crosswalks, shouting racial slurs. Protestors on the corner by Town Hall have shared stories of how they have been threatened with violence for proclaiming “Black Lives Matter”.
These incidents are happening mere yards from the church, and as Christians we know we cannot stay silent. While we are not the sort of church that typically labels people as sinners, we do believe that sin exists. In our faith, a sin is anything we do that is contrary to God’s will for us. We hope you will agree that racial epithets and threats of violence shouted at young people fall within that category.
As Christians, we repent of the ways that we have in any way contributed to making our neighbors feel as though they are anything less than beloved children of God. We repent of our silence when we could have used our voices. Most importantly, we commit to following Christ’s commandment to us to “love God and love neighbor” and to work for full equality of every person created by God.
If you would like to talk to us about this sign, we welcome you to let us know. Pastor Emily will be glad to sit down with anyone who wishes to do so in a thoughtful and civil manner. Just email church(at)exeterucc.org.
And if you would like to join us in this work, please know that you are always welcome to become a part of this church. We are meeting online at this time, but have many opportunities for remote fellowship. Simply send us a message, and we will be glad to welcome you.
May God’s grace and peace be with us all, here in Exeter, and around the world.