Justice & Inclusion
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled himself to us through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
At First Baptist we believe we are called to live as if the Kingdom of God is already present among us, because it is.
This means working for a world in which all can share in the abundance of creation and all are valued as bearers of the image of God.
While we seek to be agents of God’s justice and inclusion in our community, we recognize this work demands that we examine how we embody these commitments internally as a congregation.
One of the defining marks of the most recent season in our church’s long history has been the ways we have sought to be more open and inclusive in our membership, leadership, and practices, and to tell the truth about the ways we have failed to do this in the past.
This has been true in two different but complementary conversations and initiatives: grappling with our church’s complicated history with regard to race and racial justice, and affirming the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people into the full life of the church.
In both of these, our congregation has drawn on the best parts of our history, the arc of the Biblical story, and the radically inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ to guide and direct us. We recognize there is still much work before us, but remain grateful for the ways the Spirit has moved among us, and the witnesses that have arisen within our congregation and in our wider culture that have urged us forward. We believe that the “ministry of reconciliation” is not a part of the work of the church, it is the work of the church, and we remain committed to living out the good news of God’s inclusive love in new and more expansive ways.
To read more about each of these ongoing areas of growth in our congregation, please click the links below.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’