June 4, 2020
Dear Valley Christian Community,
Valley Christian Schools’ mission states that we are committed to “offering quality education supported by a strong foundation of Christian values.” To that end, it is our duty and mission as followers of Christ to “…act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). As a Warrior community, we ask our students, family, faculty, and alumni to join us in challenging injustice and the atrocity of racism in our community and nation.
Yet justice, mercy, and humility seem elusive when we learned of the senseless and incomprehensible death of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of four police officers who took an oath to serve and protect. Mr. Floyd’s murder, along with the pain throughout our land, has brought us face-to-face with a history that is characterized by decades and centuries of injustice to Black Americans. My heart’s prayer is that as we move forward in a posture of learning and listening to one another, that will be the start of a process of healing deep wounds and acting to repair vast fissures of injustice in our country.
The long journey toward racial reconciliation is difficult and often painful, but God’s love will prevail. We grieve over the injustice we can see and lament over the hidden pain, prejudice, and inhumanity most often hidden from view. We are experiencing suffocating sadness, grief, and anger.
As so eloquently stated by an African-American alumni parent, “Now is a pivotal time for the Valley Christian community to chart our path forward as a community of faith. We must come together as brothers and sisters created in the image of God to discern how we collectively, passionately, and sacrificially approach the essential Kingdom work of establishing racial righteousness in our nation, thus becoming laudable agents of change. The time is now to take action.”
“We cannot distance ourselves from the battle. Our Christian identity does not provide immunity from the layers of race-related trauma, institutionalized racism, and its effects. Our work is not done! We cannot be silent as silence often signals consent. We must courageously call out our prejudice, arrogance, and pride, take them to the feet of Jesus, then work diligently toward harmony and peace in the space we own. We must engage our children in critical conversations about complex problems that plague our country, including issues of racial discrimination, and trust that our guidance will shape their values, resulting in positive change. And we must continue to be the justice seekers, peacemakers, wound healers, and bridge builders that our children witness every day.”
Recent input from our alumni recommends that VCS review all of our curriculum and instruction with the goal of more effectively connecting the teachings of Jesus to the history of injustice and racism. We must take action to prepare our students as active healers to restore justice and the love of Jesus in our broken nation and the world. I want to thank our alumni for their input, and we look forward to challenging but essential conversations.
In these difficult times, we ask you to join with us in constant prayer for the restoration of truth, justice, peace, hope, and love for all in our community and our nation. But as James wrote, we must do more than pray and have faith because “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). We must “Hate what is wrong, love what is right! Promote justice…” (Amos 5:15). May we do so with mercy, and goodwill, by God’s grace and love, extended to all. We must, as Jesus taught, love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
With relentless determination, we can “do all things through Christ” as He strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13). With brave hearts and the love of Jesus as our banner, let us partner with God to mend our hearts and nation. Love will prevail!
With determined hope,
Clifford E. Daugherty, EdD
Valley Christian Schools