DCC: Now a Matthew 25 Church
At the April monthly meeting via Zoom, Session unanimously voted to accept the invitation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to embrace Jesus’ call in Matthew 25:31-46 to take our living faith into our communities and the world. This proposal was sponsored by the Compassion, Peace, and Justice ministry.
As a Matthew 25 Church, we are called to live out true discipleship by acting boldly, compassionately, and fearlessly by serving people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned, or poor.
As part of our Matthew 25 commitment, we pledge to embrace three areas of focus:
–Building Congregational Vitality by challenging people and congregations to deepen their faith and get actively engaged with their community and the world.
–Dismantling Structural Racism by advocating and acting to break down the laws, policies, practices, and structures that reinforce and perpetuate discrimination, bias, prejudice, and oppression of all oppressed groups.
–Eradicating Systemic Poverty by working to change laws, policies, plans, and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.
By becoming a Matthew 25 church, we join with other congregations and presbyteries across the country to strengthen the work and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA). From time to time, we will be sharing stories with each other and the national church of how our congregation has been impacted or changed, how we have found a new purpose in ministry, and how our faith has been energized by engaging in the three focus areas. In turn, we will be able to learn how embracing Matthew 25 is impacting other congregations.
In addition to strengthening our ties with the national church, the Matthew 25 focus areas align with DCC’s own Vision2028 anchoring strategies, which are: become more diverse, cultivate spiritual practices, leverage new economic practices, broaden active participation, extend the moral actions of Jesus, and steward our land and buildings responsibly.
By making this commitment to being a Matthew 25 church, we strengthen our own resolve to embrace and act out DCC’s Vision2028 – to generously “tend the wellbeing of the place and people around us” (from Jeremiah 29.7).
For more information about the Matthew 25 program and resources provided by the national church, such as training materials, devotionals, success stories, and curricula, please see www.pcusa.org/matthew25.
We welcome with joy the arrival of Pastor Eunbee and her spouse, Chwi, as they join in the Holy Work to which DCC, as a part of the body of Christ, is called.
Thank you to Session for approving DCC’s commitment to join the denomination’s Matthew 25 initiative. Matthew 25, known as the Sheep and Goats, has Jesus teaching his disciples on the Mount of Olives, prior to his arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection regarding the coming of the “kin”dom. The initiative focuses and formalizes work “to dismantle structural racism, build congregational vitality and eliminate systemic poverty”, in which DWG and others presently participate.
During the great pause brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, DWG continues to meet via Zoom. Juan Carlos Ruiz Guajardo plans to facilitate a racial healing circle for DWG. DWG is focusing on how we will craft a faithful response to the unjust effects of COVID-19 as the disease intersects with ethnicity, income, and geography. For example, the African American community experiences a higher rate of death than the general population. Some Native American communities live long distances from medical care, often in housing that does not allow for isolation of COVID-19 positive members.