Charis Fellowship Response to the Death of George Floyd

As leaders and representatives of Charis Fellowship, we affirm our belief in a God who has created all persons in His image and who commands that all persons are to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their social, economic, or ethnic background. We grieve the violent and lawless death of George Floyd and we call for justice on his behalf as prescribed within our US Constitution and judicial system. We recognize this problem extends far beyond this single heinous act, whatever its motivation, yet it has resurfaced the fault-line of racism within our midst. Charis Fellowship condemns racism in any form.

We affirm and respect God’s ordained agency of law enforcement. We honor those engaged in this noble profession. Yet we appeal to those agencies to root out any actions and attitudes that manifest the evils of racism, which include both crimes of commission and omission. And we believe that officers who participate in or allow the use of excessive or inappropriate force should be called to account. (Romans 13:1-7)

We affirm the First Amendment right of protesters to peacefully assemble. Yet we denounce rioting, arson, and looting as completely unacceptable activities. Regretfully, these actions often shift the focus away from the underlying causes of injustice. Such activities also harm the very people who need our support, including inner-city business owners, employees, and residents who depend on these businesses. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

We affirm our commitment to the Biblical truth that God cares deeply about issues of justice and human dignity. Yet we recognize that our society continues to struggle with injustice and inequality toward minorities and we grieve with those who suffer the consequences. We believe followers of Jesus cannot remain passive or silent and must embrace our responsibility to “stop doing wrong; learn to do right; seek justice; and defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:16-17).

Toward that end, we commit ourselves to join a common quest for God-honoring solutions to end all racial inequity and ensure equal access to justice and opportunity for all. We commit ourselves to be part of the national self-assessment and to pursue the actions now needed to bring about racial harmony, justice, and unity in our land. We call upon all who form the Charis Fellowship to pray for our nation, its leaders, and all who are part of our judicial system. We call upon our churches and leaders to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, the true and sole source of racial harmony. We also call upon our entire Charis family to proactively engage in ethnically diverse dialogue, education, and interactions that will collectively move us toward God’s desire for racial unity and harmony.



Executive Team:

Phil Sparling (Charis Fellowship Executive Director)

Tim Hodge (Charis Fellowship Assistant Director)

Tom Avey (Charis Fellowship Coordinator)

National Ministry Executives:

Dr. Dave Guiles (Encompass World Partners)

Dr. Mark Penfold (Chaplain Ministries Endorser - Eagle Commission)

Dr. Bill Katip (Grace College and Seminary)

Viki Rife (Women of Grace, USA)

Liz Cutler Gates (Grace Connect and BMH Books)

Mark Lingenfelter (Inspire, Charis Pastors Network)

Ryan Bowell (Grace Brethren Investment Foundation)

Fellowship Council:

Adam Johnson (Telford, Pennsylvania)

Dave Holmes (Centerville, Ohio)

Dr. Rich Schnieders (Fort Myers, Florida)

Jeremy Wike (Columbia City, Indiana)

Dr. Greg Howell - Recording Secretary (Goldendale, Washington)

Roger Holl (Sterling, Alaska)

Charis Fellowship Social Concerns Committee:

Mike Jentes

Dr. Rich Schnieders (Fort Myers, Florida)

Kathryn MacMillan

Mark Combs (Kettering, Ohio)

Consulting Leaders:

Nathan Bryant - Executive Director of AssistCX (Toronto, Canada)

Mike Sciarra - Pastor of Grace Church (Orange, California)

Donald Shoemaker - Former Chairman of the Social Concerns Committee (Seal Beach, California)

(Note: Charis Fellowship leadership endorsements are being added as received.)

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