Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter.
As followers of Jesus we stand in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters enduring racial violence and systemic oppression. We denounce anti-black racism resulting in police brutality, mass incarceration, and unjust legal systems that disproportionately harm black and brown people. We denounce the evil “principalities and powers” at work in our world that seek to kill, steal, and destroy people made in the image of God. As a congregation we commit to doing justice and peacemaking in the way of Jesus. For the times we as a church have been complacent about the suffering of others, we confess our complicity. By God’s grace we repent and courageously align ourselves with the Spirit’s activity and the Messiah’s reign on earth. And in obedience to God we seek to set things right where every valley is lifted up and every mountain is made low. Jesus teaches us how to struggle against oppression through his example of standing in solidarity with those who were considered ‘the least’ and ‘the last’ in his society. And because Jesus affirmed that poor people’s lives mattered, that Samaritans lives mattered, and the lives of those crucified by Rome mattered, we affirm that black and brown lives matter too, and are precious to God.
As a congregation we commit to deepening our faithfulness to Jesus through holy listening, through intentional learning, and through discerning congregational public action.
As a congregation we commit to creating intentional intergenerational space where the stories of our black and brown brothers and sisters are received with love. In line with God’s upside-down kingdom, we will encourage marginalized stories to be centered while inviting those in the dominant culture to step back and be slow to speak and quick to listen. Specifically, we will make space for this congregational practice immediately after we return to worshiping together in our building.
As a congregation we commit to deepening our understanding of the history and present systems of racism in the United States, as well as the complicity of the western church in the legacy of white supremacy. We will study the history, our present society, and the theological implications of racism and its ties to the church. Specifically,our congregation will begin with Jemar Tisby’s Color of Compromise video series. We will follow that up with ongoing learning. We will grow in our understanding of what it means to be an intentionally and actively anti-racist church.
Finally, we commit to taking public action because we are called to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. Just as Jesus spent most of his time out in the streets of Galilee serving and living in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable we too seek to take action that makes the Jesus story visible to those who have their backs against the wall. Specifically we commit to ongoing discernment as a congregation about what public actions, community partnerships, and organizing efforts in our neighborhood we will participate. We know that faith without works is dead and discipleship requires a love willing to respond to the suffering of others. We pray for a prophetic witness that pleases God and participates in seeing justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.
– First Church Discernment Team
“We are called to be a Christ-centered multi-cultural community in the inner city, sharing the love, healing, peace, and justice of Christ.” -Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren’s Mission Statement

Scholarship Fund Established

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Research reveals that the best way for people to escape poverty is through education. The cost of furthering education has been and will likely continue to be prohibitive for some of the individuals involved in our ministries. Many of these individuals are first generation students in the process of seeking post-secondary education choices. They need special assistance. With these things in mind, we ask you to prayerfully consider supporting a new endeavor of the Christian Education Team: The First Church Scholarship Fund.

The purpose of this Fund is to make post-secondary education more accessible for the students whom God has entrusted to our nurture and support. The Fund will function to aid anyone connected with First Church and/or bcmPEACE ministries who wishes to further their education beyond high school. This may include university, community college, or trade school. The Fund will be administered by the First Church Scholarship Fund Committee.

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Application Requirements

Applicants must be an active member or attendee of the church or one of its core ministries.

In order to receive an award from the Fund, students will need to complete an application explaining future goals and plans to give back to their community. Additional prerequisites are an acceptance letter from the institution the student plans to attend, and the signing of a contract.

By signing the contract, students agree to attend class regularly, maintain passing grades, participate in bcmPEACE's Bright Futures, and upon gaining regular employment, return 10% of scholarship monies received to the fund. Decisions for approving scholarship applications will be made by the First Church Scholarship Fund Committee, and funds will be dispersed directly to the institution of enrollment.

Please email completed application forms to with the subject line "Scholarship Fund Application."

Apply Here! 

Support the Fund

Please prayerfully consider supporting this exciting new opportunity!! Checks can be made out to Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren with "Scholarship Fund" designated in the memo line.
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