Consistent with our core values of Kingdom Community and Reconciling Community, the Lake Avenue Ministry Council has spent considerable time in recent months considering how to best engage issues of racial reconciliation. In this season where our broader culture is deeply divided in so many ways, we on the Ministry Council unanimously issue the following statement.

Lake Avenue Church members and friends:

We mourn over the senseless violence and loss of life that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017. We join other evangelical Christian organizations such as the National Association of Evangelicals in condemning racism. We particularly condemn white supremacy and all groups that champion it, including the KKK and Neo-Nazis. Further, we renounce the sins of prejudice, bigotry, racism and ethnocentrism in all their sinful manifestations, individually and institutionally. We affirm there is one human race (Acts 17:26), and so any arbitrary attributing of particular status based upon color, ethnicity or other characteristics is contrary to the grace of God. When individuals or societies act upon such false distinctions, they perpetuate the sin of racism. We recognize that the evil of racism in this nation has also been tragically intertwined within American church history.

We believe that all people are created in God’s image and, as image bearers, all are worthy of equal dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-28; James 2:9). We further believe that racism should be addressed as a regular part of our ongoing Christian discipleship (Ephesians 2:14). With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil, including that which is present in the attitudes and systems that perpetuate racism. We confess that as Christians we ourselves have a long way to go in reflecting God’s vision for his Kingdom and addressing the concerns of communities of color, but we are committed for the long haul to seek the fullness of God’s purposes in all these things (Revelation 7:9).

Finally, we would like to communicate that we as the Lake Avenue Church Ministry Council stand behind our pastoral staff as they fulfill their responsibilities for the spiritual welfare and equipping of the congregation for active ministry. This includes the ways they lead by example, proclaim God’s Word, and exhort the congregation in the vision and direction of our church. Together with our pastoral staff, we take seriously how Lake Avenue engages around issues that are at the heart of the gospel message. There may be some difficult moments along the way and even areas where we may not see full agreement on the best way to address these issues as we seek to be obedient to God’s command to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor, and justice for the oppressed. Still, the leadership of Lake Avenue Church will continue to work to be purposeful, Biblical and accountable to the God we serve.

2017-2018 Ministry Council

Andy Bertolucci
Rich Chinen, Vice-Chair
Dan Crichton
Steve Cunningham
Dan Haight
Linda Hall
Kathy Hollimon
Jim Howe, Church Chair
Sara Jennings
Tamara Khalaf
Ashley Pallie
Bill Spuck
Adam Stiles
Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

Sources Consulted
National Association of Evangelicals, “NAE Condemns White Supremacy” 
Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, “Statement Regarding Racial Reconciliation” 
Fuller Theological Seminary, “A Message from President Mark Labberton and Associate Dean Clifton Clarke on Recent Events in Charlottesville”
docxBylaws of Lake Avenue Church