Brothers and Sisters,
I want to start this letter off first and foremost asking for your grace. We all see and recognize the hurt and pain that is sweeping through our communities right now, and I honestly cannot pretend as though I know what to say. I have no perfect words, I have no personal experience with discrimination, I have no real way of knowing the thoughts or feelings of our black brothers and sisters in the wake of the death of George Floyd and countless others. The only thing I can say right now is that I love you and that all of us at CCEM love you and will support you however we can.
The mission of CCEM is, “To Connect and Encourage Christians to Confidently Live out their Faith in the Workplace.” I feel so strongly about this mission because of what it means to be a Christian and what it means to live out our faith. Our first core value as an organization is to “Love All People, for All are Created in the Image of God” (Gen 1:27). We believe that the beginning of faith is, and always has been, love (Jn 3:16, 1 Jn 4:8, 1 Cor 13, etc.). I long for a time where we live with love for others, compassion, and empathy. I long for every person to feel special, to know that they are of infinite value in the eyes of God. I long to see everyone living together with joy, happiness, kindness, gentleness, patience. I long for a broader way of living where there is no oppression or hate, but that we are all filled with love.
Discrimination has no place in a life of love. It is not compatible with who God is and it is not compatible with who we should be as Christians. As followers of Jesus, let us not stand silent in the face of hate, but drown out that hate with love. Let us acknowledge that our world is broken, divided and hurting and let us call out to Jesus for healing and wisdom. Let us be the beginning of a cultural change in our company, our community and our world. Let us begin by aligning with the wisdom of David in Psalm 139:23-24, calling out to The Lord, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
To close this out, I would like to say to our black brothers and sisters once again, I love you. I hurt for your hurt, and I long for peace and justice with you. You are wonderfully made in the image of God (Gen 1:27, Ps 139:14), perfect and holy. I hope that our community can be a comfort and joy for you now, and always. In the name of the one who is perfect in love and hope, Jesus Christ, Amen.
CCEM Chair – John Dillon
CCEM Core Team,
Samuel Ortiz, Elizabeth Cook, Janet Shaw, Garrett Shaw, Lenette Laurente