Note: The following was drafted in November 2020 by a team of 30+ Grace SN elders, staff, and church members who represent a healthy cross-section of the diverse communities comprising our congregation and surrounding community.
At Grace Snellville, we wholeheartedly affirm that every person bears God’s image and warrants God’s love. At the same time, we broken-heartedly acknowledge that significant parts of our American society and American Christian community have too often supported attitudes and structures of racism that demean, devalue, and dehumanize others. Because of this, we are committed not only to embodying God’s delight in diversity but also to “breaking every yoke” of injustice within the range of our influence (cf. Isaiah 58:6, CEB).
According to the Apostle Paul, the reconciling work of Jesus Christ makes peace and opens the way “to create in himself one new humanity” (Eph. 2:15, NIV). Revelation 7:9 provides a glimpse of that one new humanity in eternity: “a great multitude that none could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne [of God] and the Lamb” (ESV). Together, these two passages illustrate the vision of Scripture for diverse peoples both perfectly unified in Jesus and eternally unique in their respective ethnicities, languages, and cultures.
That vision remains as audacious today as it was in the first century, but at Grace Snellville we have faith that by God’s grace we would continue to become and comprise a community of equals hailing from every background, ethnicity, and culture who work together for the good of God’s Kingdom. We will not tolerate any kind of racial discrimination, bias, or prejudice, and we will seek to bring any such individual or systemic discrimination into the healing, reconciling reality of God’s Kingdom.
Our mission at Grace Snellville is to equip one another to follow Jesus well into the neighborhoods, nations, and the next generation. For us, engaging realities of race and diversity is not a distraction but rather a discipleship opportunity. Moreover, we view it as part of our mandate from Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19, ESV). Together, we commit to this mission of following Jesus well and helping others do the same so that we can demonstrate the destination of one new humanity on earth as it will be in heaven.