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Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was hanged for his role in seeking to overthrow the Nazi regime during World War II, once said, “Not to speak is to speak.” Yet the fear of losing members and pledges keeps many congregations silent when it comes to championing the causes of God’s hurting children. The Presbyterian Church of Deep Run in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, is not one of those congregations.
A mostly-white congregation took a public stand against structural racism and its activism is attracting new families.
These days, every organization is coming up with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — commonly referred to as DEI — strategic plan. The hiring of diversity and inclusion executives has grown 113% in the last five years. As of February 2021, half of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have a chief diversity officer. The national agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are also putting together DEI plans as a response to the General Assembly mandate for a Race Audit in 2018. However, this is not the church jumping on the latest business trend. DEI has been a core value from the birth of the church. In fact, the church practiced them first. Consider the basic definitions of DEI and how they were present in the early church, from its Pentecost birth.