LVC Family - on behalf of our core leadership, we wanted you to know that we are deeply touched by the pain of our black brothers and sisters.
Lea Valley Church has no place for racism or racists. We utterly abhor and detest racism wherever it raises its ugly head.
We stand against every category of human prejudice and decry every crime and all harassment that has engendered racial bigotry, stirred up hatred, protected social injustices, allowed discrimination and generally wreaked immeasurable human suffering upon anyone, at any stage of human history.
We are not naive - we look at the great cry that has gone up around the world and recognise there are those in our church family who have, in varying degrees, borne these things or suffer them still, simply because they are black or simply because they are 'black and driving an expensive car'.
We cannot be more clear - we are revolted by racism and the degradation, separation, isolation, physical misery, inherent loneliness, poverty, tyranny, fear and despair that it brings.
LVC does not stand in support of any political group and we make the clear distinction between the various political movements that seek to promote their own agendas under the banner of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the reality that of course black lives do matter.
We strongly denounce the idea that to value all human life is to diminish suffering in another part of our human family.
It is Christian to care for all life and there is nothing to be gained by allowing secularism, humanism, rationalism, intellectualism or popular opinion to redefine the kindness or Christian heart of love for all.
One policy of BLM has a clear intention to decommission the Police and this is not anything we could ever align ourselves with. We do see however, that from the brutal, merciless, outrageous and egregious murder of George Floyd - a tinder box of painful memories - rooted in fact, has now exploded upon us all.
To be completely clear, we utterly abhor the evil injustices being perpetrated against the black community both on this soil and globally, historically and present day. Similarly, we loathe man's inhumanity to man - in all the ethnicities - however it is manifested .
We stand in spirit with peaceful demonstrators, with every voice crying out for change, justice and those voices interceding and praying for peace and equality. We want to see racial prejudice eradicated globally, in our nation, in our community and in our respective spheres of influence.
There is no place in LVC for prejudice of any kind - under any guise, neither for racism neither for any other 'ism' that seeks to divide, separate, dominate, belittle, dehumanise, dominate or coerce another human being.
LVC family - please stand united. The potential for fear, suspicion, division and disunity is great at the moment.
We have developed a culture of embracing inclusion where all ethnicities are welcome and valued. This is a jewel. A treasure we should protect.
God has knit us together - people from so many nationalities - loving God and loving each other and we should not hold it lightly. We believe we are stronger through diversity - that our differences are needed to fully reflect the face of Jesus Christ in a community that holds true to His greatest commandment - to love one another - the hallmark of Christ's identity.
We come back to Christ-centred Kingdom culture. When one weeps, we all weep. When one rejoices, joy is offered to all. We believe that God is not blind - every injustice will be judged by the One we call Righteous. Reckoning Day will come.
We also believe that God is not colour blind. He loves us - black, white, brown and every shade of every skin colour. Since we are His - so ought we to go and do likewise.
Please do not let social media or secular culture inform your opinion of one another, or redefine your relationships, or doubt the sincerity of our cross-cultural Christ serving church family.
Remember the love, the friendship and the fellowship that is genuine among us. We do not stand or fall with the rise of popular opinion or the persuasion of social media - we take our lead from the book we call 'Good' because that is what the Bible is - that is what scripture will show.
Love will never fail. It cannot because God is love and He cannot fail.
We overcome evil with good.
Christianity is revolutionary - a revolution runs counter to the prevailing culture. Into the current world climate of racial divide, we call each of us to let love lead.
Let us bear with one another in love; let us support each other in God given grace.
Let us pray for comfort over every broken and hurting heart and let us make our supplication corporately to our mighty God for deliverance and peace.
We love you guys. We miss you.
Geoff and Bo Ace on behalf of Hayley and Tim Gutmann, Denise Fitch, Mick Fitch, Ian Liddle (Core Leadership Team of Lea Valley Church