“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26).
Mutual concern and solidarity with brothers and sisters in Jesus was foundational to the formation of the church. And while Christians have lived this out in many ways, we ought to grieve that Christians have often failed to practice the “equal concern” of suffering and rejoicing side-by-side with others of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. LifeChurch Auburn Hills works to mend that fracture within the body of Christ in a local way. As a multi-ethnic community, it’s our goal to be transformed from mindsets and patterns that perpetuate ethnic division into ways of life that create committed, cross cultural, and Christ-centered friendships. Increased incidents of racial prejudice against the Asian American and Asian community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic create an obligation for Christians of all colors to choose equal concern for our brothers and sisters in this moment. As a staff and leadership team at LCAH, we fully support the statement recently released by the Asian American Christian Collaborative, which is included below. We celebrate the women and men, including our Executive Pastor Yang Chen, who have taken the time to speak hard truths in love that call on all of us to live out the biblical model of Christian solidarity. They have done an amazing service to us, thoroughly documenting incidents of prejudice and leading us into concrete action as a church. We believe this is an urgent message! As such, we urge each you to:
- Practice listening: Take the time to really read this whole statement. As we talked about a few weeks ago during our 3C Friendships series, listen to this story from the Asian American community while asking “how is God using this story to change my heart and life?”
- Reach out: Take the time to call an Asian American or Asian person in your life and ask them what they have been experiencing in this time. Don’t feel the need to apologize or fix anything – simply listen and be willing to grieve with them where necessary.
- Stand up: Share this statement with others in your sphere of influence, letting them know that this is an important issue for you. Be on the lookout for prejudicial actions or statements, whether out at the grocery story or on your Facebook feed, and use your voice in these moments to stand up alongside our Asian brothers and sisters.
We believe this moment is an opportunity for the church to shine with the light of Christ. We love you and pray that God would empower and transform us into a family of equal concern for one another, sharing joy and suffering, as a witness to the one who loves us enough to fully share in all aspects of our lives.
Grace and peace,
Donearl Johnson, Lead Pastor || Yang Chen, Executive Pastor || Brendan Dry, Associate Pastor || Marcia Partin, Ministry Director || Cam Underdown, Co-Planter || Makesha Jones, NextGen Director