Get Informed

So many of us want to know what we can do right now. This is a crucial time, and Heritage is working to determine how we can best serve our community amidst this time of grief and protest.

One thing that can be done now, before moving forward practically, is to “do the work” — that is, to learn, reflect, and pray about issues that are affecting people of color. We need to take a hard look at our own hearts and ask if we are approaching people with humility and a willingness to hear and accept their stories. Here are some resources that can help you do just that:

READ THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:

Click the book covers to be taken to their listing on Amazon.com

“Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson

“Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation” by Latasha Morrison

“Generous Justice” by Tim Keller

“How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi

“Let Justice Roll Down” by John Perkins

“Bloodlines” by John Piper

“White Awake” by Daniel Hill

READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES:

Click each graphic to be taken to the corresponding article.

“Read, Baby, Read: A First Step to Action” by Lois M. Ottaway (Christianity Today)

“Race, Gospel, and Justice: An Interview with Esau McCaulley” by Ed Stetzer (Christianity Today blog)

“A Soul Check for White Christians” by John Kingston (Christianity Today)

“Systems, Sin and Sanctuaries” by Greg Armstrong (Christianity Today blog)

“Structural Racism: The Child of Structural Pride” by John Piper (Desiring God)

“Justice Too Long Delayed” by Timothy Dalrymple (Christianity Today)

“George Floyd’s senseless killing” by Kay Coles James (FOX NEWS)

WATCH THE FOLLOWING:

Clicking the graphic will take you to the selected video.

“God of the Oppressed” message

(37 min)

“The Cornelius Factor” message

(30 min)

“Just Mercy” movie

(137 min)

Grace, Justice, & Mercy, Bryan Stevenson & Tim Keller (70 min)

Grace, Justice, & Mercy: Q&A (52 min)

TED Talk “Can We Talk?” by Kenston Henderson (12 min)

“Color of Compromise” Video Series on RightNow Media (12 sessions)

“Bloodlines” Documentary on RightNow Media (19 min)

“Mind the Gap” Efrem Smith devotional (18 min)

“Race in America” by Phil Vischer (18 min)

Get Together

1. Join the “Be the Bridge” Facebook group.
2. Host a watch party or virtual watch party to view one of the films/videos (above) and discuss it in community.

 

3. Launch a book club to read one of the books (above) in community.

Get Going

1. Join a community project to clean up and repair damage to downtown Columbus or donate to the efforts.

 

2. Donate specifically to organizations involved in this work – extending our money where our mouth is.

Donate to Livefreeusa.org, a group committed to distributing health supplies to minority populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

3. Serve at the Bridge this summer or donate to their vital ministries for an ever-growing community in need.
4. Create a list of actions items that you will do to remove injustice from our community and check off each item when you have completed it.
Read Our Response to Racism

Dear Heritage family,

All of us are stunned and grieved by the events of this past week, beginning with the heart-breaking death of George Floyd and continuing on in intense protests — both peaceful and violent — around the country. And this while the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are still fresh in our hearts. We are experiencing the disruptive impact of an ancient and ever-present evil: racism, injustice, and violence are deeply embedded in the structure of our fallen, broken, sin-shattered world.

And there’s an urgency within us to do something about it — we cannot be quiet about it, or tolerate it, or excuse it in any way. And as we consider what we can do, we are faced with a sense of helplessness. And that helplessness creates a powerful grief and a profound sadness within us, which moves us into lament.

This afternoon, one of our life-groups gathered many of us together to lament. We spent an hour listening to Scripture, responsive prayer, heart-felt lament, and honest grief. We are immensely grateful to Garnetta Livisay, Pam Lewis, Christine Shipman, Chrissy Spears, Kelsy Wiggins, Phil & Liz Washburn, and others in their life-group who created for us a honest, heart-felt space to lament together.

And then they reminded us that there is hope: true, real, unquenchable hope — in Jesus, and Jesus alone.

Psalm 29 reminds us that the Lord our God sits enthroned above the flood — above the flood of evil that threatens to devastate our world. On the cross, Jesus defeated this ancient evil, once and for all, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the incorruptible wonder of self-giving love, self-sacrificial love. Even though this defeated evil continues to ravage our world, we know that we who follow Jesus, can overcome it in the Spirit through self-giving love and the ministry of reconciliation, which God has entrusted to us.

We will have more to say on this in time, but we urge you to take seriously the calling that has been given to us:

2 Cor 5.14–20 ESV – “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised… Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

As a church, we are deeply committed to genuine reconciliation. That’s the heart of the gospel. Will you join with us in a radical commitment to reject this ancient evil of racism, injustice and violence — and do all in our power to be reconcilers, following in the footsteps of Jesus?

This is what we prayed for together this afternoon:

Mic 6.8 ESV – “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

With much love,

The board of Elders of Heritage
David Brincks, Steve Clark, Alan Foster, Mike Horner, Dave Lehman, Eric Niemeyer, Joe Rimelspach, Doug Robinette, Tim Scholten, Andy Sieberhagen, Taylor Shipman, Pavi Thomas, Gary Vinson, and Phil Washburn