12 Months of Blessing: Justice & Equity

Anchor City is pleased to be able to participate in the work of two different organizations for this month’s 12 Months of Blessing campaign.

The John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation is a non-profit organization that teaches and promotes the principles of Christian Community development and racial reconciliation.

“This conviction that God calls us to confront injustice has guided our ministry in underserved communities over the last 60 years. It has driven us to also equip and empower Christians who share our vision to pursue biblical justice and reconciliation in their own communities.”

The Bail Project works to bring about equitable justice and reform in the issue of mass incarceration in America.

“The Bail Project™ National Revolving Bail Fund provides free bail assistance to low-income individuals who are legally presumed innocent, and whom a judge has deemed eligible for release before trial contingent on paying bail. We enable our clients to return home to their families and communities while awaiting their court dates. We call this model Community Release with Support.”

Please note: We won’t be taking a special offering this month for these organizations. We encourage you to learn more about them, support them on your own, and also give to Anchor City, as our church will be giving from our previously allocated funds to these organizations.

Faithful Racial Justice Videos

Here are a couple of things you can watch to help further our understanding in the work of faithful racial justice: 

TED Talks

Paul Rucker: The Symbols of Systemic Racism — and how to take away their power • 7 minutes • from 2018 

Baratunde Thurston: How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time • 16 minutes • also from 2018 • Some perspective on what it is like to be “living while black” in a thought-provoking but at times humorous way.

Ibram X Kendi: How to Build an Antiracist World • 1 hour • from 2020 • A few of Kendi’s books:

Other Film Resources

A conversation with Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil • 40 minutes • From Asian American Christian Collaborative on how to begin the work of racial justice.

And finally, A list of movies to watch on different streaming platforms

We really hope you will spend some time watching at least one of the things on this list and expanding our understanding of what our black and brown brothers and sisters are experiencing. Let’s do what we can in God’s call for us to truly love one another!

Resources for Engaging the Hard Work of Love and Justice

From your pastors, this is a short note to say that we love you, we’re here for you and that we are praying for you. We know that much continues on in the world and we pray that you are both remaining faithfully engaged to all that is going on but also caring for yourself by resting and having Sabbath in the One who is always watching over us.

Please let us be a resource to you whether it’s for a listening ear, to learn together, for prayer and encouragement. 

Below are a couple of resources that we’d mentioned on Sunday for us to continue to engage in the hard work of love while we work towards faithfulness and justice:

 Your choice for a free eBook 50% off an eBook on faithful justice (Note: 1. You have to set up a free account and 2. Use the code EBOOKS50 at checkout, offer valid through June 30, 2020) 

A diverse book list for your kids to enlarge their narratives about race and culture; and 3 that are faith based (123)

Responses and action steps for Asian-American Christians in our common fight for justice for all.

We have been raising our voices in prayer and public witness as well. Here is a link to photos from a prayer vigil hosted by our friends at Renew San Diego in which some of our Anchor City families participated 

There is so much fighting for our attention right now, it’s easy to want to bury our heads in the sand and just ignore it. We pray that, just as we’ve been urging you, to start somewhere, rooted in faith and grounded in love.

Solidarity and Hope

As I’m sure we’re all experiencing, 2020 continues on as a time of pain, anguish and sorrow. In the midst of the pandemic, sorrow and outrage from and for the black citizens of our nation and their experience of racism and police brutality have erupted.

As a church, we cannot stay silent. Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Jesus Christ came to give us life, and to give it abundantly (John 10:10). In order to have the fullness of life that Jesus wants all people to have, we must speak up. We must stand with our black brothers and sisters to say that they are beloved and that they are not alone.

Together, we must affirm this truth: black lives matter.

We understand the complexity of this issue, especially as a largely Asian American church. We might have some reservations because we have friends we’re afraid to offend. We can feel that we are sometimes misunderstood or overlooked or insignificant in this conversation. We may feel that this is not our fight to fight. We may feel outraged at the racism we ourselves have experienced. We may feel overwhelmed in knowing where to start. 

We get it. This is not an easy conversation.

But transformation is rarely easy. We believe that this is part of the transforming nature of our faith that we might become more like Jesus who loved us and all people. 

So let’s start somewhere. 

As your pastors, we are committed to providing space for expression, questioning, and learning together. We are committed to finding helpful resources that will allow you to learn, to grow, to act. We are committed to hearing you. We are committed to giving you a space to express your tiredness, committed to say we are with you and that we love you. We are committed to finding ways to be agents of change in our small corner of the world and finding courage, strength and joy together. 

As such, we are dedicating this month to learning and doing something about racism. We believe your voice matters.

In these pandemic days, one thing we’ve encouraged everyone to do is to imagine a world that is better post-pandemic than pre-pandemic. We believe that that’s the call for this time too. Let’s imagine a world where everyone can live their lives in the fullness that God has created and intended them to be.

With lots of love in our hearts for you, and in sorrow and solidarity with the world,

grace + peace,
Pastors Jeya and Dan

P.S., Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for yesterday’s Interfaith Prayer Vigil for love, peace, and justice in Broadway Heights. Visit our Facebook page here for a glimpse of how we were involved (special thanks to Jin for the wonderful photos!).

How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus

There are a lot of great resources on how to talk about Coronavirus/COVID-19 with your children. Here are some of the things I’ve compiled, along with some of our own thoughts on how we can help children during these times.

1. Assessing what your child knows

They have heard many things from many different sources. Talk to them about what they might know: what may be true and what might not be in what they’ve heard. In this age where information is so accessible, try to limit their access to all the information that is out there.

2. Focusing on staying healthy

This can be empowering for children, especially younger children, if they know that they can be part of the solution by keeping healthy themselves. Good hygiene and staying healthy will help everyone, including the older folks around them, stay healthy too. Washing hands is protecting the people around them!

3. Checking your own anxiety

It’s natural to feel anxious at this time. But as you talk to your children, remember that they will look to you to be their peace. It is okay to admit if you are worried but more importantly, it is important to be a non-anxious presence. Remind children that when we worry, we can go to God and ask God for peace.

4. Talking about it age appropriately

Follow their lead and let them ask questions. Here’s a good article to check out about how to talk to children of different ages about it.

5. Being a listening ear

Just like it can be helpful to for us to talk about it, kids need to be able to express what they are thinking and feeling too. By doing this, we model how God hears us too.

6. Calling your family to community

Children (and even adults!) can feel helpless in these situations. Look for ways that you can be a force for good in your community as followers of Jesus. Help an elderly neighbor; encourage and thank your local sanitation and store employees, first responders; pray for those in the community, country and the world. We will get through this if we do this together. Remind children that Christians respond to crisis with love not fear.

7. Praying together

Let your children know that they can bring their sorrows and their fears to God. Praying together can help bring the family together in God’s comfort and remind them that when things feel out of control, God is always watching over us and taking care of us. Praying for others can again help us remember that we can do something about the situation that we are in.