AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR CHINESE MEMBERS
Dearly Beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ,
There have been several reports in the news of recent months concerning violence, insults, and hateful speech directed at Asian people living in our country. A few weeks ago, there was a gathering of community leaders in Hacienda Heights addressing the issue of anti-Asian incidents within our own community. This deeply saddens me as an American, the son and grandson of immigrants, and as a long-time resident of our Hacienda Heights community.
Hateful speech and violent actions directed against any person because of their nationality, ethnicity, or race have no place in our society. I am deeply sorrowful that some people have turned their hatred toward you, our Chinese friends, and neighbors. I pray that none of you has experienced this personally. But please know that we stand together with you as neighbors, and we will stand up for you. You are a welcome part of our community and contribute much to our life together. We will not allow prejudice and bigotry to drive a wedge between us.
LIfe together can be challenging, especially when there are differences in language and culture. These challenges make us stronger as a community and more vital as a people. You came to this country because you saw freedom and opportunity, the very things that brought our forefathers and mothers to America. I have lived in Hacienda Heights for 29 years and have seen the profoundly positive influences that Chinese people have brought to our community. I have learned that differences in language and culture are things to be celebrated and embraced. We need to build bridges, not walls.
There is no place for walls within the church. In Christ, every wall that divides us is torn down. The Body of Christ embraces every nation, tribe, people, and language, just as Christ HImself died for all on the Cross. Our identity is in our Baptism into Christ not in the country of our origin, the ethnicity of our people, or the color of our skin. “There is one Lord, one faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:5-6). We are Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ, before we are anything else, whether American or Chinese, black, brown, yellow, or white. We are, first of all, children of God, our heavenly Father.
Please know that this concern is in my constant prayer, even as we pray about it every Sunday when we are together in worship. We need to work together for peace and harmony, mutual respect, and cooperation as members of our community. We stand with you, and we will stand up for you.
In the love of Christ,
Pr. William M. Cwirla
在教会中更不该有墙。在基督里，每一堵分隔我们的墙都被拆毁了。基督的身体包容每一个国家、部落、民族和语言，就像基督自己在十字架上为所有人而死那样。我们的身份的根基是我们受洗归于基督，而不是在我们的原籍国，我们的民族，或我们的肤色。”4 身体只有一个，圣灵只有一个，正如你们蒙召同有一个指望。5 一主，一信，一洗，6 一 神，就是众人的父，超乎众人之上，贯乎众人之中，也住在众人之内。”（以弗所书4：5-6）。我们是基督徒，是基督里的兄弟姐妹，在我们是任何其他东西之前，无论是美国人还是中国人，黑人、棕色人、黄色人还是白人，我们首先是上帝的孩子，我们的天父。
Pr. William M. Cwirla