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one church one body pledge 

“In Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female” (Galatians 3:28)

There is no difference between races, classes, or genders in the salvation that Christ brings to us all. This is essential to the work of Jesus Christ, and the early church made a clear choice to create a multiracial Christian community. Therefore, a multiracial body of Christ is not only admirable—it is intrinsic, mandated, and expected by God.

But today in America, we as Christian leaders are morally concerned about the deluge of incidents this year that have revealed how the factors of race have yet to be resolved or, as we would say, reconciled.

Painful incidents like the killings of Trayvon Martin and Jonathan Ferrell, as well as this year’s Supreme Court decision that removed a key provision of the Voting Rights Act reveal the racial divides at the heart of our nation. It is time for the multiracial body of Christ to be clear that we are in this together. These issues are all of our issues. We are one church. We are one body.

Therefore, together, we pledge to:

  • Take our mission of racial reconciliation to a country divided by racial segregation. Every denomination in the United States has experienced the dividing blade of racism. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. observed that 11 a.m. on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. Sadly, his prophetic words are still true today. The Apostle Paul compares the church to the human body, saying when “one part suffers, all parts suffer with it.” Christian churches have often been silent, blind, or actively complicit with acts of racial intolerance and injustice, hurting Christ’s body and causing suffering to our brothers and sisters. Racism is a sin that must be named, repented of, and healed. The church must come together as a multiracial community of faith for the sake of the credibility of the gospel of reconciliation that we preach. We must pledge to make this gospel vision a reality.
  • Take it upon ourselves to repair our criminal justice system and protect the safety and security of all our brothers and sisters and their children. Racial profiling is a sin against God’s children and against God. We must oppose it wherever it occurs, commit ourselves to a racially just criminal justice system, and strengthen protections against racial profiling by government and civilians, a practice that particularly threatens the lives of people of color and other minority groups. Christians must be among those who lead in defending minority children and their parents from danger in harmful environments.
  • Take to the Congress the critical need to restore the integrity of the Voting Rights Act. We will respond to the Supreme Court’s mandate to develop and enact an updated formula for Section 4 “preclearance” for any new regulations that could threaten the voting rights of minorities, including the young and the elderly—especially in those states and places where a history of race-based voter suppression has long existed. We must ensure public accountability for any proposed changes in voting procedures that threaten voting rights. Protecting voting rights for all is not only a foundational democratic principle, but also is rooted in the theological imperative to build a multiracial community that protects “the least of these.”

 

Read full pledge statement here.

Note: Organizational names appear below for identification purposes only. The pledges expressed above should be attributed to the individuals, and not to their institutions.

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National Pledge Signers

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Dr. Paul Alexander: Co-President, Evangelicals for Social Action

Onleilove Alston: Organizer, The Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy (C-RRED) at Union Theological Seminary

Professor Randall Balmer: Chair, Department of Religion, Dartmouth College

Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr.: President, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc

Rev. Leroy Barber: Global Executive Director, Word Made Flesh

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. Senior Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Leader, North Carolina Moral Monday Movement

Deborah Blue: Executive Minister of Compassion, Mercy, & Justice, Evangelical Covenant Church

Rev. Joel Boot: Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America

Dr. Peter Borgdorff : Executive Director Emeritus, Christian Reformed Church

Rev. Jennifer Butler: CEO, Faith in Public Life

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS: Executive Director, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Dr. Tony Campolo: Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA

Rev. Mae Elise Cannon: Author, Social Justice Handbook (IVP, 2009) & Just Spirituality (IVP, 2013)

Rev. Noel Castellanos: CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Mark Charles: Board Member, Christian Community Development Association; Author, Reflections from the Hogan

Rev. Eugene E. Cho: Lead Pastor, Quest Church

Richard Cizik: President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Shane Claiborne: Author & Activist, The Simple Way

Christena Cleveland: social psychologist, author of Disunity in Christ

Carolyn Custis James: Author/Speaker & President, WhitbyForum

Dr. Kit Daley: President, Neighborhood Ministries, Phoenix, AZ

Marie Dennis: Co-President, Pax Christi International

Dr. J. Mark DeYmaz: Founding Pastor, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas; Author, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church; Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church; Real Community Transformation

Joshua DuBois: Author of "The President's Devotional," Founder, Values Partnerships, Former Director, White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships"

Peggy Flanagan: Executive Director, Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota

Rev. Dr. Ken Fong: Senior Pastor Asian American Initiative, Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles (Rosemead); Executive Director, Fuller Theological Seminary

Dr. Wayne L. Gordon: President, Christian Community Development Association

Pastor Aaron Graham: Lead Pastor, The District Church

Rev. Dr. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson: Adviser for Ecumenical Relationships, General Secretary Emeritus Reformed Church in America

Dr. David P. Gushee: Director, Center for Theology and Public Life

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale: Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church

Bishop Mark S. Hanson: Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Adam Hamilton: Senior pastor, Church of the Resurrection

Lisa Sharon Harper: Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners

Dr. Frederick D. Haynes: Senior Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church

Jerry S. Herbert, Ph.D.: Senior Fellow, Institute for Public Service, Pepperdine University

Dr. Joel C. Hunter: Pastor, Northland Church

Lynne Hybels: Advocate for Global Engagement, Willow Creek Community Church

Troy Jackson: Director, Ohio Prophetic Voices

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori: Presiding Bishop and Primate,The Episcopal Church

Thomas L. Jones: Ambassador-At-Large for the CEO Senior Leadership Team, Habitat for Humanity International

Kathy Khang: Regional Multiethnic Director, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Tony Kriz: Author, "Neighbors and Wise Men: Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places"

Rev. Carlos Malavé: Executive Director, Christian Churches Together

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie: 10th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Brian D. McLaren: Pastor & Author, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? (Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World)

A. Roy Medley: General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger: , author, speaker, educator, Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church (Eerdmans), Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths (Thomas Nelson); Professor of Christian Theology & Theology of Culture, Director of The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins, Multnomah University

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.: Pastor Emeritus, Mt. Olivet Institutional Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III: Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ

Rev. Rich Nathan: Senior Pastor, Vineyard Columbus

Mary Nelson: Executive Director, Council of a Parliament of the World's Religions

Rev. Glenn Palmberg: Former President, Evangelical Covenant Church

Dr. John M. Perkins: Founder and President, John M. Perkins Foundation; Founder and Board Chair Emeritus, Christian Community Development Association

The Rev. Dr. Neal D. Presa: Moderator, 220th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Dr. Soong-Chan Rah: Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary

Pastor Rudy Rasmus: Pastor & Author, St. John's United Methodist Church

Rev. Frank M. Reid III: Senior Pastor, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Chris Rice: Director, Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation; Author, More Than Equals

Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow: Speaker, Author and Former Moderator, The 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. William D. Roberts: Rector, St. Gregory's Episcopal Church

Rev Gabriel Salguero: President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC)

Rev Alexia Salvatierra: Special Assistant to the Bishop in charge of Welcoming Congregations, Southwest California Synod, ELCA

Dr. Stephen Schneck: Director, Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, The Catholic University of America

Dr. Ron Sider: President Emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action

Dr. Andrea Smith: Board member, North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies; Co-founder, Boarding School Healing Project and INCITE!

Matthew Soerens: co-author, Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, and Truth in the Immigration Debate

Glen Stassen: Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary

Richard Stearns: President, World Vision

Adam Taylor: Vice President, Advocacy, World Vision

Dr. Al Tizon: Co-President, Evangelicals for Social Action

Justin K.H. Tse: Ph.D. Candidate, The University of British Columbia at Vancouver

Rev. Jim Wallis: Founder and President, Sojourners

Rev. Sharon Watkins: General Minister & President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Bishop Don diXon Williams: Associate for African American Church Relations, Bread for the World

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner: President, Skinner Leadership Institute

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: Executive Director, School for Conversion; Author, Strangers at My Door

Dr. Randy and Edith Woodley: Eagle's Wings Ministry, Inc.; Eloheh Farm and Village

Ken Wytsma: Founder, The Justice Conference; President, Kilns College


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