As a church, we believe grace changes everything and empowers us to seek justice in the midst of racial brokenness. We’re committed to racial reconciliation and justice not just in this moment, but for the long-haul. This is gospel work, work that we’re committed to doing together as we learn, lament, repent, and move forward.

To that end, our Session of elders has appointed a one-year committee to consider our denomination’s guidance in the 2018 Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation Report and how our church can respond to pursue reconciliation and justice.

You are invited to reach out to the committee! You can contact them at [email protected]. They will review and respond to all the messages they receive.

About the Committee

Session committees are appointed by the elders as needed around areas of special interest. This committee is comprised of church members who represent the diversity in our church, elected and appointed leaders (elders, deacons, Board of Women members), and others who have expressed their excitement to serve the church on this issue.

The committee has five stated goals:

  1. Assessing ongoing racial and ethnic reconciliation at Capital Pres Family (CPF)
  2. Recommending actions for racial and ethnic reconciliation for CPF in line with the PCA Study Committee Report specific suggestions
  3. Preparing a communication and educational plan for the biblical understanding of racial and ethnic reconciliation at CPF
  4. Identifying potential resources pertaining to Racial & Ethnic Reconciliation
  5. Praying for the work of racial and ethnic reconciliation

Recommendations from the committee will be reviewed by the Session and the committee will regularly update the congregation on their discussions.

Committee Members

Christy Danner, Elisha Kitula, Makiko Harrison, Brandi Laperriere, Dominique McKay, Marissa Miller, Chin-Chin Minniear, Mike Quinn, Matt Stone, J.T. Tarter, Norm Snyder, and Rob Yancey.

Prior Work on this Issue

Following the PCA’s 2018 report, our church pursued the following actions based on report recommendations. We do not mean to suggest that these efforts are sufficient, but find it helpful to provide the full context as we enter a season of more pointed discussion.

Prayer, lament, discernment, and discussion for the session. Reports and resources have been given to our Session regarding this issue by teaching elders (pastors) since 2005.

Congregational dialogue and prayer. We have previously hosted a missions event titled “The Minority Experience in NoVA” and our pastoral staff have studied Heal Us Immanuel, which has also been made available to the congregation. Pastor David and Pastor Nathan have researched our church meeting minutes to identify any sins of racism.

Liturgy and preaching. In the past several years, the following sermons have been preached by our pastoral staff and by pastors of color in our denomination:

Gospel Diversity by Rev. James Forsyth; Gospel Justice by Rev. David Stephenson; Seek Justice Series by Rev. James Forsyth, Rev. Aaron Graham, and Rev. Dr. Carl Ellis; Equal in His Image by Rev. James Forsyth; Redeeming Poverty by Rev. Randy Nabors; Poverty with Others by Rev. Russ Whitfield; What is the Greatest Commandment? by Rev. Dr. Paul Jeon; Walk Humbly: Justice & Minorities by Rev. Dr. Carl Ellis; The Beauty of Destiny’s Children by Rev. Dr. Irwyn Ince. Liturgy has also emphasized repentance for sins of racism along with these series/sermons.

Learning more about our neighbors. We live in an area of beautiful diversity. Our missions team has pursued research to learn more about who are neighbors are in our McLean zip code so we can best minister to them and share the gospel, and we have met with minority churches in our area to learn from their experience and build one another up in gospel work. We also prioritize serving minority communities through several local missions partners

Learning best practices from other churches. Pastors, staff, and elders have attended denominational seminars, presbytery discussions, and Reformed Theological Seminary classes, and continue to engage in intentional dialogue with local PCA pastors of color.

Equipping church representatives. Elders have attended racial reconciliation sessions at the General Assembly, staff have attended the “Just Gospel” conference, and PCA pastors of color have trained our staff on this issue.

Building partnerships with other local churches. Several current and prior local church plants supported by our church have a multicultural focus, including Grace DC, Port Towns Church, Grace Mosaic, Northside Church of Richmond, and others.

Supporting minority-focused PCA ministries. Our budget provides financial support for Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) chapters focused in minority communities, as well as people of color doing missions and pastoral work in our broader region.