HYPE THE STRIPE for Reconciliation
The Unpaid Labor Project was pleased to be an exhibitor at and a participant in LDR Weekend. The conference was held over Labor Day weekend at The Journey-Tower Grove (a church) and at Covenant Theological Seminary. LDR stands for Leadership Development Resource. In their own words “LDR is a movement for men and women, ministry leaders, volunteers, pastors, and church families who desire to address core concerns in Black communities. Conference content is designed for and by people of color. People of all ethnic backgrounds and denominations are welcome to attend.” About 600 people attended and it was great! It was well organized, professionally done, biblically based, spiritually uplifting, and true to its theme of Truth in Love.
LDR is a movement within the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) denomination. It is a movement seeking reconciliation within the PCA between the races. It is a movement that takes account of the denomination’s history. That history includes providing a “biblical” basis for racial slavery in the United States and excluding Black people from PCA churches. It is a movement that seeks to extract a fuller understanding of Reformed theology. That understanding includes people of color as made in the image of God and Black Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a minority movement in every sense of the word. In the PCA only 52 of the denominations 3,000 pastors are black and many churches remain exclusively white and in opposition to change.
Black people lead this movement and therein lay the rub. Black people everywhere know that any challenge to the authority of White people in America anywhere is asking for a fight. That includes the church in America.
We at the Unpaid Labor Project are not PCA members. Our national movement to Acknowledge the contribution of the first 12 generations of African Americans to our country, to Abolish the false thinking of White superiority and Black inferiority, and to Advocate for national racial reconciliation is not a religious one. Our symbol is a single black stripe in the American flag as an appropriate expression of the magnitude of the contribution. We appreciate that if national racial reconciliation has a chance to succeed anywhere it’s in the organized Christian church. That’s where reconciliation is a fundamental tenet of The Faith.
We congratulate the PCA and the leadership of Covenant for their faithfulness in seeking reconciliation. We thank the PCA and the leadership of Covenant for recognizing that our message of national racial reconciliation is worthy of being heard in the context of their internal debate.
It’s 2,000 years now since Jesus Christ launched the movement of salvation from sin by grace through faith. It’s 500 years now since Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation by nailing 95 theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg. It's 62 years now since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott that launched the modern Civil Rights Movement. The Unpaid Labor Project can only hope that we can add to their legacy. Their legacy bends the curve toward justice and equality and reconciliation that is the promise of "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."