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Racial Reconciliation Team Update

By Gianluca Cueva

“Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews…”  — Acts 6:1

Disagreements and disputes are not new to the people of God. From the Abrahamic family, to the division of the kingdom of Israel, leading up to the time of Christ’s arrival, and even among the early disciples, the people of God have experienced dissension and dispute over almost every kind of issue common to humanity. And the early church was no exception.

So what was the first dispute in the early church? It wasn’t over their doctrinal differences as some may think, but over their ethnic differences. Acts 6 tells us that Hebrew widows and Hellenist widows were not being equally cared for or treated. Unlike the Hebrew widows, the Hellenist widows were being neglected and because of this neglect, conflict arose between the two ethnic groups. So how did the early church respond? They appointed seven Hellenistic members from among the Jerusalem congregation to attend to the issue.

Though we are seeing modern day versions of these disputes happen at churches all around the country today, we believe that for us at Creekside, this is our Acts 6 moment.

Creekside is beautifully made up of people with different ethnicities and cultures. And just like the early church, we are, and already have been, susceptible to dispute, neglect and hurt because of our differences. So how have we responded? We’ve assembled a small diverse group of Creekside members to pray and discuss theologically and practically how we can best address this issue within our church family.  

Our hope is to want to show the power the gospel has to bring people from different cultures and ethnicities together. Not to just get along, but to truly be a loving family (John 17:23). The attached document is therefore the first project created by the task force. This document, anchored in our denomination’s (EFCA) statement of faith, is meant to serve as a theological foundation from which we can build upon and draw from as we continue to strive for Christian unity amidst our ethnic diversity.

Soli Deo Gloria.

On behalf of the team,

Gianluca Cueva

Task force members include: Deborah Cueva, Gianluca Cueva, Ericka Ghersi-Holth, Lark Kelsey, Alfredo Palmer, Mike Roop, Michele Williams, Elyot Xia-Zhu, Marilyn Youngquist
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