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Race, Ethnicity and the Gospel

Since Redeemer’s inception we have existed to be a church not for ourselves but one that seeks to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal. Christians have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:16-21) as we look to the resurrected Jesus in faith. The current cultural moment grants us an opportunity to take a fearless look at our blind spots, publicly repent where we see we have failed to live up to our calling, and in turn work toward healing, restitution and reconciliation.

A pastoral letter on the gospel, race and the church, from Senior Pastor Abe Cho, Summer 2020


Current Events | General Resources | Going Deeper

On Current Events

We are grieving. We deeply lament the rise in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We are saddened, and yes, angered, that our brothers and sisters and neighbors in the AAPI community feel fear and insecurity here in our city and across our nation. And so we turn to Scripture, which tells us that we are one body, and should have concern for each other. "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it." With that in mind, please join us for the following events as we pray and act:

Process grief and lament in solidarity with the AAPI community

Wednesday, April 7, 7-7:45 pm
A prayerful time to lament and process the recent racist attacks on the AAPI community. Led by lay leaders of our congregation and with special guest Jennifer Chan from Redeemer City to City.


 

A Conversation on Asian-Black Racism with Jordan Rice and Abe Cho

Wednesday, April 7, 8-9 pm
Pastors Jordan Rice (Renaissance Church) and Abe Cho (Redeemer East Side) shares a frank conversation as two friends about the racial tensions that exist between Black and Asian communities that often goes unaddressed, and how the gospel and the church are uniquely powerful resources for genuine truth, repentance, healing and reconciliation.


 

Open Table: Debriefing and Conversation on Asian-Black Racism

Wednesday, April 14, 7-8 pm

Join Zoom Meeting
Or dial: (646) 558-8656 with Meeting ID: 815 9216 6798 and Passcode: 211040

Do you want to talk or process with a pastor and others the current increased violence and attacks on the AAPI community or the conversation Pastor Abe and Pastor Jordan Rice on April 7? Come and join our Open Table to debrief and process further with others in community.
 

AAPI Prayer & Lament

Thursday, March 25, 2-3 pm

Watch recording
Our friends from Pray March Act invited our pastor to help lead an event called AAPI Prayer & Lament on Thursday, March 25 hosted on Facebook Live. This was a special time of unity and intercession.

"Lord we are overcome with the weight of sin in this broken world. We cry out with our Asian brothers and sisters saying how long Lord? Really? HOW LONG? Our grief turns from sadness to depression and then to anger. We want to harden our hearts from feeling so we can protect them from breaking. You tell us that in our anger, do not sin and do not allow the sun to go down on our anger, but the anguish of injustice and hate burrows its way into our minds. But in Christ we find our HOPE. We must tell Jesus. So we bring our wrung out hearts to the foot of the cross.”
— Rozz Morehead-Strebe


General Resources

Here are some resources to get you started. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that "iron sharpens iron, so one sharpens another." Therefore, we encourage you to read, process and pray through these sources with others to grow together in pursuit of truth and unity in Christ.


Going Deeper

Which of the following statements do you most closely identify with?

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
— Psalm 139:23-24


I’m not sure why we’re emphasizing this so much as a church. 

"There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us."
—Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption


I didn’t know racism was an issue but now I believe that it is.

Note: you will need to commit to learning.

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase."
—MLK


I don’t know what to do so I’m learning and listening.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
—MLK


I want to do something and go deeper. How do I actively become an agent of healing?

"If we are waiting to say all the right things or do the right things before we act, we probably won’t act. We’re gonna make a million mistakes in this, might as well get started."
—Pastor Alex Jun


This is my life. I’m a person of color.

  • Meditate: Psalm 34, Isaiah 66
  • Listen: I Can’t Breathe, sermon by Pastor Charlie Dates
  • Book Recommendations: A Beautiful Community, by Dr. Irwin Ince
  • We’re here to listen if you’d like to talk. Email or call Redeemer East Side Pastoral Staff at (212) 808-4460

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too much a burden to bear."
—MLK