At a powerful service in the Vos Chapel on February 21, in recognition of Black History Month, the Kuyper community considered what it means to be a Christian institution that stands against racism.
“It helps us consider the complaints we need to hear and offer up, our confessions, what we’re petitioning God to help us with, and what we’re committing to as we follow God, love our neighbor, and stand against racism,” Harris said.
At the center of the gathering was the Kuyper College Statement on Racism which explains that Kuyper’s stand against racism is based in its biblical, Reformed worldview.
Said Dr. Patricia Harris, President of Kuyper College: “This document guides the Kuyper Community as it strives to love God and neighbor and pursue its mission, vision and values.”
She noted too that the Statement was written as both a liturgy for public worship and a lament. It moves from a focus on complaint, to confession, to petition, and then to commitment, and this structure was intentional.
With this background in mind, the Kuyper Community engaged with the text of the Statement through responsive reading. Interspersed throughout were songs which used the power of music to reinforce the Statement’s main points, including:
- Racism runs contrary to the very nature of God’s creation. As Christians, we must condemn the racism and white supremacy that has done such harm in the world and the Church for centuries.
- Through both action and inaction, we have often fallen short of God’s call to promote racial justice. We must stand with those who have suffered and continue to suffer the brutal effects of racism.
But, the Statement acknowledges, this is not enough. We must also actively learn about the effects race and color have on people, organizations and systems. We must commit do our part to end racism, hatred, violence and inequities and seek to cultivate justice for all.
The gathering ended with a rousing rendition of the gospel tune “This Little Light of Mine,” which served as a call for the community to carry the light of Christ into the world as its members seek to stand against racism.