Dear CRC leaders and lay people within the churches of the United States,
As I write this brief letter from my home in Canada (a short 20 minute drive from the New York state border), I see what is happening on the other side of my border and I want to respond. Yet I am well aware that the challenges you are facing so poignantly right now are our challenges, too, here in Canada.
At the current time though, they have reached a boiling point in the U.S. that makes them more readily apparent to us all. As a friend and a representative of a closely connected group of citizens and Christ followers just north of our shared border, I wanted to say, in a literary form of a hug, “I’m sorry.”
My heart breaks for the ways in which citizens of our countries have been reminded so starkly that the colour of their skin is not a consideration for the creativity of God, but as a mark of either privilege or disqualification.
I’m sorry that you are undergoing such a deep and hurtful divide.
I am sorry that the trust meant to be an inherent part of the policing system, has been compromised so often and thus discounts the integrity of so many working within its ranks—and the safety of those depending on it.
I am sorry that some forms of leadership in your country seem like grounds to be above the law—moral, judicial, legal, or otherwise.
I am sorry that the rights known by some are not the rights experienced by all.
I am sorry that the church and the cause of Christ is sometimes being wrongly positioned/confused to align with racial superiority.
I am sorry that racial reconciliation is not a higher priority than it seems is necessary.
I am sorry for the way in which I see people, even people in the church, break the 6th commandment (“do not murder”), which says that we are not to belittle, hate, insult, or kill our neighbour. Not by thoughts, words, look or gesture, and certainly not by actual deeds. And we are not to be party to this in others.
I am sorry that the way of power is a more ready choice for key leaders than the way of peace.
Inside, I mourn. I mourn for the family of George Floyd and the many many non-white citizens of your country (and mine) that walk around feeling afraid and less-than. I commit myself and the ministries of the CRCNA in Canada to the improvement toward racial reconciliation and my allegiance with you in this regard as I am able, in the places I engage, and circles I live and work.
May the God of all comfort keep you.
In the one, true and only power of Christ,
Rev. Darren Roorda
Canadian Ministries Director, CRCNA