Jun 15, 2020

We CAN Change!

We CAN Change!

 

Dear Mount Paran Christian School Family,

As the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Mount Paran Christian School, I felt compelled to connect with you, both from the vantage point of my position with the school, but also personally, though I had a difficult time gathering my thoughts. The recent events concerning Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have shocked many, though "shock" is probably the only emotion I haven't personally felt in the last several weeks. 

For nearly three months, we have been wrought with fear brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have socially-distanced ourselves and been isolated far longer than anyone could have imagined. Life has been disrupted for our young students, milestone moments stolen from our seniors, eighth-graders, fifth-graders, and preschool graduates. Grandparents who have been completely isolated have not received a hug from their grandchildren. Summer travel plans have been delayed or cancelled. 

In the midst of this pandemic have been more senseless murders of black males and females. Some may have grown weary in the midst of all of this. I know I have. As badly as I want to escape to a beach or not think about it any more, I don't have that option. I wish so badly I could blink it all away, but that isn't going to happen either. What can happen - what needs to happen - is we need to see one another. We need to listen, to educate ourselves, to lament, to reconcile. We need to change!

As a black woman, wife of 23 years to a black husband, a mother of two beautiful black children (both MPCS "lifer" alumni), and a daughter of a black father, I am fearful. My heart aches. While words fail to express exactly how I am feeling, there are several things I do know and have clung to in the last several weeks.

  • God cares how we treat each other because we're all created in His image (Genesis 1:27). He makes no distinction between the inherent value of one race or ethnicity over another.
  • God cares about people regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, and social status (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).
  • God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right (Acts 10:34-35).
  • We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  • If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers (James 2:9).
  • About the age to come, we see a heavenly picture: A great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Revelation 7:9-10).
  • Jesus removes hostility and introduces harmony (Ephesians 2:14-18).
  • God isn't about separation, but inclusion and unity. Jesus made it possible for anyone to be included in the people and promises of God (Galatians 3:28).
  • That good news - the Gospel - doesn't just mean that we're brought near to God. It also means we're brought near to the people we once considered so different from ourselves (Ephesians 2:13). 

God restores our relationships with people and groups we've mistreated. That's called reconciliation: the removal of prejudice and the restoration of a relationship to healthy understanding and appreciation for each other. God is a reconciling God. The Gospel, at its core, is a message of reconciliation.

To be clear, this is in no way a commentary on the many good men and women serving in the line of duty but, rather, a recognition of long-standing issues facing our society. I know that God brings peace where there was once strife and kindness where there was once animosity. He's done it with each of us, as sinners, and He can do it between us and our neighbors - whether black, white, Asian, or Latino.

If we belong to Jesus, we are part of His movement to bring more reconciliation between people and God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). As His representatives, we have the opportunity to share how the life-changing message of the Gospel creates a healthy relationship with God and healthy relationships between people, no matter who they are.

I have value. My family has value. And, so does yours. I love our Mount Paran commUNITY.  We can have hard conversations. We can be unified in Christ with one another.  

On our WEBSITE you'll find new tips, articles, and resources for families in discussing race. I hope these resources will help you navigate conversations about racism, justice, and equity with your family. 

The list we've provided is just a few of the countless books, media, and educational websites centering around social justice. We encourage you to share any resources or ideas you find with families and friends as well.

I'd also like to share that MPCS is proud to present a CommUNITY Rally for Hope and Healing. Open to rising MPCS high school students and alumni, this outdoor event will take place on "Juneteenth", Friday, June 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Catherine Steele Sewell Stadium to provide for social distancing (please do not arrive before 6:15 p.m.). In response to the recent tragedies concerning racism in our country, this event will feature prayer, worship, a spoken word, and time for reflection to promote change in our country. We are thrilled to be able to livestream this event on YouTube and Facebook live for the rest of our MPCS families and wider community. The program will be student-led by SGA and the People's Club. Tune in next Friday to watch our servant-leaders rally for equality for all of God's people!

Blessings, 

Catina Taliaferro

Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Mount Paran Christian School

CommUNITY Rally for Hope and Healing

"Virtual" Morning Devotion

Check back each morning during Virtual Learning to watch a new morning devotion posted below. Click here for our recent CHAPEL messages. 

Morning Devotion 5/15/20 by Mr. Kyle

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