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Called To Be A Church With The City

July 9, 2016   |   By Andy Stoker
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Dear FirstChurch Family,

My heart hurts. Just when I was coming to grips with the news from Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, we have our own tragedy, just blocks from FirstChurch. These events, police involved shootings and public mass shootings, have become far too commonplace. But, I could not imagine that it would happen right here in the city we love. Sadly, Dallas has experience in tragedy, but we do not dwell in tragedy. Tragedy does not take away our hope. Fear does not quell our faith. Violence does not stamp out eternity.

In the end, there is much more to which we are called. Yes, we will pray. Yes, we will connect with friends and neighbors. Yes, we will discover loving and courageous action. And, yes, we will provide safe haven for all families hurting from any form of violence. FirstChurch has been called to embrace the pain of our community time and time again. We are called this time to reach out in help and hope.

Just one way of our reaching out in the pain will be a donation made to assist families of officers killed in the line of duty. MissionNow, as part of our RiseFund, is placing a $6,000 donation to The Line of Duty Fund of The Dallas Foundation which has been formed through the cooperation of the Dallas Police Department, Mayor Rawlings’ office and Friends of the Dallas Police to support those Dallas Police Department and DART transit officers, including their families, affected by last night’s shootings during the peaceful protest in Downtown Dallas.

There is a reason we are a downtown church: to be the church with the city. The church is representation of Christ for our neighbors. Yes, our sanctuary stands as a beacon of the Light of Christ. Yet, we are much more than a beacon; we are a courageous, just-filled and compassionate people yearning for a better tomorrow, today.

This week in worship, as with every week, we celebrate the week we’ve had and commit ourselves to the week to come. I need you to be in worship this week. Invite those who are hurting, confused, conflicted, marginalized and fearful. Let us show and share the Light of Christ to all. It is time to turn our hurting hearts to hopeful ones. I know this because . . .

Together, we are held . . .

In God’s Love.

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