Friends in Christ:
I live in the Washington, D.C., area. One of the things I love about living there is its diversity. I can go shopping and hear no fewer than five languages spoken around me. I can taste the world at any number of restaurants within a 25-mile radius. I can be the only person of my race and ethnicity in a group of people and somehow not be the “different” one because none of us are alike in any immediately apparent way. We’re all different!
In fact, that diversity is what many residents love about this area. It may take us 45 minutes just to drive two miles (triple that if it snows), and government shutdowns have been far too frequent in recent years. But our neighbors are literally from around the globe — and our office potlucks are amazing!
So, imagine our apprehension and heartbreak when we learned that, on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalists would be marching on the very streets shared by our global community.
While they turned out by the dozens, we who reject their ideology turned out by the thousands. The D.C. we love showed up. However, the fact that we can have such a demonstration on the same ground that the Ku Klux Klan marched on 97 years and two days before that day tells us that there is still much work to do, and far too much for any of us to be lackadaisical about it.
Jesus technically never said anything about race. He couldn’t have. Race is a social construct that didn’t emerge until well after the biblical canon was completed. Hegemony, however, has always existed, and what Jesus, the law and the prophets had much to say about was justice. We don’t do antiracism work because it aligns with any partisan ideology or because it is the “politically correct” thing to do. We do antiracism work because it is the very “doing” of justice that the prophet Amos reminded Israel was required by their God. We do it because dismantling one’s privilege is the one thing the wealthy man in Mark’s gospel had left to do if he wanted to inherit eternal life — even though he’d already done much. We do it because we cannot love God, whom we haven’t seen, and not love our neighbor, whom we see every day.
I’m excited about the work I get to do as Coordinator for Racial and Intercultural Justice. And I’m not daunted by the enormity of the work because, as I’ve seen very recently, our Church and our world are poised to do it in ways that we’ve probably not seen in years past. I look forward to working and networking with Christians called by God to be the repairers of the breach and the light needed in a world too often plunged into darkness. With God’s help, I believe that we will win.
Coordinator for Racial & Intercultural Justice
Compassion, Peace & Justice
“Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”—Isaiah 58:12
The Compassion, Peace and Justice ministry area helps Presbyterians respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people, address injustice in all areas of life and advocate for peaceful solutions to conflict. This ministry area also provides disaster relief, direct service, capacity building and development assistance to marginalized communities nationally and around the world.
CARE for God’s Creation
- Protect God’s earth so future generations may experience its beauty and its bounty
- Support food production that coincides with living in harmony with God’s creation
- Challenge systems that put profit ahead of health, safety and the environment
- Inspire and equip Presbyterians to work for eco-justice in their local communities
SPEAK Truth in Love to Power
- Protect children from all forms of abuse
- End human trafficking
- Amplify the voices of those society marginalizes
- Challenge systems of oppression and discrimination
- Stand with those who seek livable wages
END Poverty and Hunger
- Empower people to forge their own path
- Work for long-term solutions to systemic poverty and injustice
- Provide opportunities for Presbyterians to join the greater faith community in action
- Support training and capacity-building programs
- Support better education for all children
RESTORE Communities Impacted by Disaster
- Help those who help others
- Care for communities impacted by crises and catastrophic events
- Focus on long-term recovery
- Provide training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods
Promote PEACE and Conflict Resolution
- Inspire new approaches to active peacemaking
- Equip God’s people to be compassionate and prophetic peacemakers
- Help communities of peace take action to transform the world
Follow Christ to the Ends of the EARTH
- Share the good news of Christ’s love to the far reaches of the world
- Care for those who suffer for their faith
The ministries of Compassion, Peace and Justice are supported by your contributions to the Presbyterian Mission Agency through your local congregation: