As Christians we believe that every body equally reveals the image of God, yet this week’s violence in Atlanta has magnified further what has been growing worse over the past year—racial hatred against people of Asian descent. Where the Christian church has been complicit with European colonizers, our own ancestors of faith perpetuated such violence (and sowed seeds for White supremacy now). The Congregational denomination (which included our predecessor Edina and Morningside churches, and later became part of the United Church of Christ) actively partnered with American military and corporate interests to invade Hawai’i and overthrow its monarchy in an effort to establish plantations and missionary churches. The UCC has confessed our guilt in this and started to make amends, but that incident is just one reminder that White supremacy runs deep, even in our sacred communities.
As we hear more about the racism that targets Asian-Americans, I hold close to heart our Edina Morningside Church neighbors, members and staff of Asian descent. Our kin in the body of Christ are experiencing new traumas and longtime echoes from the latest news, and every person navigates pain in unique ways. We’ll be naming and lamenting anti-Asian violence in our worship this coming Sunday, as well as committing to keep learning and doing better. We do this out of solidarity and care for those we know and love, but also to honor and praise the marvelous, mysterious God who shows up in a billion billion faces, every one.