Juneteenth Prayer Gathering
Gather with us at Church on the Hill as we pray for an end of racism on Friday, June 19th at 2:00 PM.
Family Meeting and Race Discussion
On Wednesday, July 22 through Wednesday, August 5, Church on the Hill will be hosting "family meetings." These are a time for us to gather and discuss various topics we face in today's cultural environment. Join us as we LISTEN to each other and see what Jesus says in His word.
Wednesdays July 22-August 5 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM - Supper provided
There is no room for racism in Christianity!
Dear Church on the Hill Family,
Over the past two-and-a-half years as pastor at Church on the Hill, I have made it clear that my job is to teach the word and not be involved in politics. I have also made it clear that there will be possibly be a time when the political and moral landscape of our country is such at odds with the heart of Jesus that I am forced to venture to take a stance on a certain issue that might be political.
This is one of those moments...
Our country is on the edge of violence. I have struggled to find the words to express the emotions I feel when seeing the video of George Floyd. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to a criminal complaint filed on Friday by the Hennepin County District Attorney, the police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd's neck in silence, staring toward the ground as his captive gasped repeatedly that he could not breathe. A breath...that is all Mr. Floyd wanted...needed! Even if one can think or science could prove that anything else caused George Floyd to die, there is no reason that a cry for help in the presence of trained law enforcement officers should go unheeded for almost nine minutes. This deed is evil.
This evil act portrayed in the last few days in our country is only one of many that has brought us to the brink of chaos. The death of George Floyd has lit a match to the bonfire we constructed as a nation. The fuel for this flame is clear to us all. We are reminded every few weeks of another killing of an unarmed black man, woman, child, brother, sister, mother, father...loved one. Ahmaud Arbery (February 23rd), Sean Reed (May 6th), and Stephen Demarco Taylor (April 18th) are names that we can remember because they are recent victims, but have we already forgotten about Tamir Rice, Botham Jean, E.J. Bradford, and Stephon Clark.
As a white man, I do not and cannot understand what it must feel like to be a young black man being pulled over by the police or simply being mistaken for someone else and shot because I "matched the description." I read the comments today of a father of two African American young men (a Dallas resident who was not protesting, but simply answering the reporter's questions) who is scared for his children's future...in the land of equality...because they were black. I pray that we can be healed in our country to the point that no father ever has to be afraid because of the color of his skin. Haven't we matured past this as a nation?
We MUST change.
You know that I do not preach politics, but this is not politics...this is sin. We should be appalled not only by the actions just five days ago, but by the violent aftermath. I am overlooking the nearby Town East mall, closed, not because of COVID, but because of the threat of violence. This fire is in our back yard and we built it.
How did we build the inferno? Let me proffer three reasons:
- Bullying - We have an ever growing flame because, for one reason, because our leaders incite such anger and bullying. We vehemently attack anyone who dares to disagree with us by name calling, rhetoric designed to trigger an emotional response, and forgo the tenets of reasonable debate. The guilt is on both sides of the political aisle...
- Ignoring and devaluing victims - We fan the flame further by not listening to the cries of those who have been abused at the hands of our very own pastors, priests, other religious leaders, police, and other community leaders.
- Apathy - We pour the gasoline when we make excuses to justify our reasons for staying silent when we need to speak a word of peace, hug our neighbor, help the poor, and intentionally go out of our way to seek out and welcome those of a different race in our midst.
I praise Jesus that the most recent growth at Church on the Hill not only includes young people, but people of various races from within our community. This means that there is a culture of safety here that attracts anyone to follow Christ in the gathering of our local fellowship. Praise God!
We are also developing a culture of advocating for the weak, being a place of healing and deliverance, and living like Christ! This is much like the early believers in Antioch who were really mocked for being so much like Jesus.
We must not stop until we exhibit the love of Christ in all we do. There is no room for racism in Christianity!
In Christ Jesus,
Pastor John Lay.