S.C.U.A.D. BLOG (January 23, 2021):
“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ (Zechariah 7:9-10)
As we enter a new year, many, including myself, are grateful that God has blessed us with the privilege of getting a fresh start, a re-set, a re-calibration. Before May 2020, most churches in our fellowship, including ours, had carefully side-stepped race relation situations and social justice discussions. We now must take a position on these topics that have been so prevalent in the communities around us. This past year, we all witnessed incidences where churches divided over protests, police brutality, monuments, politics, elections and social injustice. I am grateful that the Metro Los Angeles leadership decided in May 2020, to put together a committee, the MLA S.C.U.A.D., to address these topics head-on. We aim to model justice and righteousness and not hide from or ignore issues of the day.
Dispensing justice and practicing kindness. This image is such a powerful one! So often, our world either leans towards one at the expense of the other. From my experience, I have witnessed situations where people will push for justice but fail to show compassion through their words and actions. Hence, even as a spiritual community, we have found ourselves having many uncomfortable conversations regarding justice, mercy, righteousness, race relations and inequality. On the other end of the spectrum, we can sometimes present kindness as our salvation against any culpability in our role related to injustice in our society. I have heard many refer to themselves as being “kind to all,” being a “good person” or “not seeing color” so we fail to recognize our passive participation in the brokenness of our world. With that in mind, we aspire to show kindness and compassion for all while pursuing justice and addressing social injustices—that’s God’s way!
This past year, we witnessed many victories from the numerous events planned and produced by the S.C.U.A.D. We also experienced some learning opportunities along the way. I am personally grateful for these lessons because they allowed our committee to mature and strive for excellence. We are fully aware that we have only “scratched the surface” and more groundwork remains to ensure our spiritual home continues to address these pertinent matters. With that in mind, we want to hear from you. Please send suggestions, concerns and comments to our email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, I want to personally encourage everyone to fully support the efforts of the S.C.U.A.D. The brothers and sisters on this committee work tirelessly by devoting their time and talents for the betterment of the Metro Los Angeles Region.
S.C.U.A.D. BLOG (November 9, 2020):
"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with it's commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who once were far away and peace to those who were near." - Ephesians 2: 14-17
For the Gentile Christians who were in the church in Ephesus, Paul enlightened them as to how amazing the blessing was that they had received from God when they were reconciled to Him through the cross. Jew and Gentile lived in cultural, social and religious hostility and separation. God's purpose was for the two to become one by destroying the dividing wall of hostility through the cross. Likewise today, God's purpose since the birth of his church in Acts 2 has been to make it possible for walls of hostility between people from all backgrounds to be destroyed through the cross. The goal was and is to create one new humanity or group of people, though many come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. I was constantly amazed 36 years ago throughout my Bible studies to become a Christian. On one occasion during a study I heard the word of God not only with wise and persuasive words but with a "demonstration of the Spirit's power." The brother who was teaching me was white and had come from a background of racial bias and prejudice. He shared that before becoming a Christian he would not have been alone in a room with me, or any other black person, and only through Jesus and the cross was he able to radically change. I was blown away and drawn to what I saw as true religion. This also convicted me to examine myself to get in touch with my own racial prejudices and biases. He subsequently went on to lead a multi-racial mission team of disciples to South Africa during apartheid establishing a multi-racial church. We became great brothers to one another and support each other to this day. Today, it is essential that we as members of God's Kingdom examine ourselves for any racial bias and prejudice and seek to better understand one another’s racial and ethnic backgrounds and experiences. This can only begin to happen through open and honest conversation which allows us to better understand, identify and empathize with one another. These conversations may not be easy and possibly may make us and others feel uncomfortable and uneasy. If so, let us realize Jesus’ cross was not comfortable and easy. Let us have the courage and commitment to Him and one another to engage one another nonetheless. Let us make every effort to forge this type of unity which furthers God's plan for humanity – a plan that makes it possible to bring spiritual peace between people in Christ.
– Doug Webber -
S.C.U.A.D. BLOG (October 12, 2020):
but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:24)
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
In these tumultuous times the way of righteousness has been a difficult path to find and to follow. In light of so much injustice to the Black community, and to others, it has been difficult for many to walk in the ways of Jesus and not slip into anger, bitterness or despair. The almost weekly events have continually highlighted the grave racial problems in our society. The Metro SCUAD has been working diligently to face the issues, take righteous action and spread knowledge of God that brings both peace and change. They are blazing a trail that will help to heal wounds, foster awareness and bring about change. Michele and I are so grateful for the Henleys who have taken on this responsibility. We are grateful for the subcommittees that are working hard to provide informative quality events. It is our prayer that the SCUAD will be the “levin” that permeates and changes our whole church helping us to fulfill God’s call for Justice and Righteousness His way. We pray the church will be a light to the world and a haven for all people reflecting the Glory of God’s Kingdom!
Robert & Michele Carrillo
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