Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At its January 11 meeting, the Session voted to join with
other Presbyterian churches across the country by becoming
a “Matthew 25” congregation. It was a decision made after
several months of thoughtful discussion and prayer.
By becoming a "Matthew 25" church, we are celebrating
the many ways in which our church community already works
toward our chosen foci: working toward eradicating systemic poverty and toward dismantling structural racism. We also look to expand our current reach and pouring our love, energy and action into new outreach opportunities that will help us work toward this vision. In making this commitment we join with at least fifteen other churches in our presbytery.
In many ways, becoming a “Matthew 25” church felt right as our Outreach Committee’s mission statement (see below) is based on Matthew 25. We believe this is a faithful response to the good news of Jesus Christ and what it means for us to be Christ’s disciples in the world. Acting boldly and compassionately to see our neighbors through Jesus’ eyes, we seek to serve those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, imprisoned, strangers, poor and oppressed.
As a Matthew 25 congregation we recommit ourselves to work toward dismantling structural racism. We can do this by “fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.” Our anti-racism book study group remains committed to this cause through education and discussion, and we look forward to identifying hands-on ways in which we can expand our reach into the community.
We also recommit ourselves to work toward eradicating systemic poverty by efforts to “change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.” By working with organizations such as Eastern Area Community Ministries, Hope Health Clinic, PathLight International, Habitat for Humanity, Living Waters and others, we are supporting their missions of providing for basic needs, education, housing and healthcare.
Please be in prayer for our Session and Outreach Committee as they are discerning what it means for us to commit to this vision and as they are open to new ministries we might be called to in the future.
Anchored in hope and love,
Outreach Mission Statement
Through prayer, study, and practice, the Anchorage Presbyterian Church seeks to live out the vision of Matthew 25:31-40:
feeding the hungry,
insuring that the thirsty have good, clean water to drink,
welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked,
taking care of the sick,
visiting those in prison,
and in other ways loving the Lord our God
with all we have and all we are,
loving our neighbors as we love ourselves
whether they be men or women, girls or boys,
including those of all races, religions and ethnic groups,
ministering to their physical, social, and spiritual need,
treating all with respect and dignity, learning from them
and receiving the gifts they offer us as well,
thereby demonstrating the gracious commonwealth of God
even now coming to earth as it is in heaven.