March 18, 2021
Dear Bethany Family,
Join us in prayer over two recent tragedies.
Please be praying for our sister church Emerald City Bible Fellowship. Yesterday afternoon, there was a shooting at a meeting in their building resulting in the loss of one precious life. We have been in conversation with them and know that the gathering did not involve members of ECBF, contrary to news reports you might see, but was a community group that has close ties to the church and rents the space. Lift up Pastor Harvey Drake and their leadership team as they minister in this tragedy.
In addition, we remain deeply saddened by the shootings in Atlanta, where many of the victims are Asian-American women. We are praying for friends and families who are grieving right now and we condemn this act of violence. We recognize that these shootings have stirred considerable outrage and fear in the Asian-American community across the country. The increase in hate crimes and racist attacks this past year against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, including in our very city this week, is alarming. This is a call to prayer and solidarity.
As a people who live in Jesus’ gospel, that good news where Christ has torn down the dividing wall of hostility between races (Eph. 2: 14), we stand in steadfast love with our AAPI siblings at Bethany and across Seattle. As we continue in our walk in the dark with Jesus this Lent, let us remain open to the wounded Healer’s presence among us even as we stand tenaciously present with our AAPI family.
Listen to the words that one of our Asian-American members shared with me yesterday and has allowed me to pass on to you:
“No words can express the sorrow and sadness I am feeling right now. Our world needs His healing, His hope, His love, and His understanding……… What a broken world we live in.”
Lord Jesus, pour out your healing, your hope, your love, and your understanding upon this broken world we live in. Be with those who are facing fears they should not have to face: our siblings at ECBF and their sister outreach group in this terrible loss; our Asian-American community in this epidemic of hate and violence. When will the scapegoating end, Lord? When will our country step out of its xenophobic fear and hear the gospel that we are no longer strangers and foreigners but are members together of the household of God? Only you know, Lord. We confess to you the mess we have made of your world, and look to you, Lord Christ, the one known by the scars, to heal our wounds and make us whole. Reign over us, Lord, even as we wait for your Kingdom on earth. In your mighty and powerful name, we pray. Amen.
In the peace of Christ,
Your pastors, Doug and Danielle