Headmaster Update: A letter to the Bear Creek community - June 2020

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Patrick Carruth, President and Headmaster

Dear Bear Creek Community,

Over the past two weeks, I have spoken with the Board of Trustees, the administrative team, families, and friends. I have been listening, praying, reading, and trying to purposefully consider how to offer a thoughtful voice to the conversation about racial injustice in our country, especially for our students. The purpose of this letter is to share the school’s perspective, as an institution of learning, on racial injustice and to encourage us to pause, grieve, reflect, pray, listen, and demonstrate the Gospel of reconciliation before our children, within ourselves, and in our communities.

Racism is sin and an affront to God, the author and originator of all things who crafted human beings in his own image, declaring us “very good.” (Genesis 1:26,27). Thus, every person has inherent value, worth, and significance (Psalm 139:13 – 16), and should always be treated with dignity, justice, and respect. Scripture reminds us frequently that we are to lay aside prejudices to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:25 – 37). The Gospel rejects the racial prejudices in our country and world that separate people (Ephesians 2:14 – 18; Galatians 3:28). God grieves when we sin and are unjust (Isaiah 59:15) and as children of God we also grieve the senseless deaths of our fellow human beings. We are called to dignify human life, to seek justice, and to live out the Gospel in word and deed. This is the challenge of Micah 6:8 and the challenge we should place before ourselves:

“To do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”

At Bear Creek, we teach our students to live lives of wisdom, compassion, and courage. Those virtues are more than words; they should be demonstrated through our actions. May each of us then pray, confess, and be humbled. May each of us seek wisdom by learning about racial injustice and by listening to the experience and pain of our brothers and sisters in the Black community, as well as other communities of color. May each of us develop compassion to truly fulfill Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and display the courage to create a just and merciful society through words and action.

At school we strive to create a nurturing environment where students, parents, and employees feel safe and valued. Two years ago, we began the No Ordinary People initiative to more fully understand different perspectives and cultures within The Bear Creek School community. This initiative is ongoing and important and includes continuing the Cross Cultural Working Group meetings and other parent activities to listen, learn, and help strategize actions. Additionally, we have pulled together resources on our website to facilitate learning and how to engage in conversation with your children and others regarding racial injustice.

Finally, the Gospel gives us real hope and confidence that change is possible. My family and I have recently been reading a book by Ben Watson, NFL tight end and Christian, titled, Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race. Getting Free From The Fears And Frustrations That Divide Us. Even as he recounts stories of racial injustice in his own life, he offers an encouraging message of our hope in Christ:

"I’m encouraged, though, because the times we’re living in have forced us to be honest about where we stand, priming us for God to do a tremendous work in our lives, if we will let him. As black people and white people, we need revival, that awakening. And it can only happen through Jesus Christ."

As always, my door is open and I encourage conversation about how we may continue to grow in the Gospel of grace at The Bear Creek School.

Grace and peace,

Patrick Carruth
President and Headmaster

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