These words spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. capture the heart and spirit of Christ Community Chapel. Recently 200 far-right demonstrators representing white and southern nationalist, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups held a rally in Shelbyville, TN. At CCC, we care deeply for refugees, immigrants and the black community, so for every fist that was raised, we respond with love, support and strength for those they oppose.
As a direct result of the rally of darkness and hate in Shelbyville, we are providing a gift that will pay tuition for one semester of college for an African American student through the United Negro College Fund, the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement. UNCF awards more than $100 million each year to students attending 37 historically black colleges and universities.
We hope this gift communicates our love and solidarity with the African-American community. As simply as we can say it: we grieve with you, we stand with you and we are for you.
At the same time, it’s a gift that communicates our heart and hope for white supremacists and anyone sharing their racist beliefs. As simply as we can say it: we don’t stand with you and we strongly condemn your gathering. And yet we have hope for and pray for you. Our hopes and prayers are rooted in Jesus Christ and his ability to transform your life of darkness into one of light and your life of hate into a life of love.
We will love those you hate with a deeper love. Our hope is that churches across the nation respond in kind. You can take action now: have difficult conversations, stand up for the unified image of God who created us without ranks of superiority and inferiority and, most importantly, listen to the stories and lived experiences of our black brothers and sisters and begin to understand. If you want to participate, read Pastor Joe’s blog post on diversity, watch his announcement of this initiative or you can give here.
This display of hatred does not reduce the power of Christ’s sacrifice for every human. We will love more deeply, as Christ loved us all.