We, a small and imperfect reflection of the church, gather in heart, mind, and body to search for words to speak our faith convictions in our particular cultural context: the hope we proclaim, the ways we fall short, and the actions to which we commit ourselves.1
We are people of hope who confess Jesus Christ is Lord over a Kingdom2 in which no one is hungry, violence is no more, and all suffering is gone. All sit together around a shared table,3 wolves and lambs enjoy each other’s company,4 and every tear is wiped away from every eye.5
Our hope is not simply that we will experience this Kingdom, which is truly kin-dom, in the future, but that, as Christ’s prayer demands, this Kingdom comes “to earth as it is in heaven.”6 So strong is this hope that we lament any and all instances of its absence.7 When we witness hunger, injustice, discrimination, violence, or suffering, we grieve deeply and repent of our sins that have enabled such brokenness to persist – knowing that these things should not be.8
Furthermore, we are incited to act and to be vehicles of change through which God’s Kingdom breaks into the world and our earthly lives.9 Our commitment is to acts that feed, clothe, instruct, reconcile, admonish, heal, and comfort – reflecting the power of God’s hope and an eagerness to see the Kingdom made manifest.10
We believe God’s Kingdom comes not because we are confident in our own capacities, but because we trust in God,11 who can do more than we can ask or imagine.12 We are humbled and amazed that, in and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God includes us13 in the work of redeeming all creation14 and reconciling15 the whole world.
We offer the following statement in hopes that others within our denomination and beyond might find echoes of their own struggles and convictions, and be both comforted and challenged. We address this statement directly to all whom the church has harmed, in recognition and apology, as we vow to do and be better, with God’s help.16
To God be the glory.17