Pastor Jarrod Jones is the Senior Pastor at Grace Community Church home to five campuses across Orange County, New York with over 3,000 attendees. Late last night he released a lengthy letter to his church family for the first time breaking his long-held silence on political issues.
Even throughout the letter his turmoil is palpable as he struggles with how best to lead the church in the charged political climate of the country today.
In the letter Pastor Jarrod says, “Is it my duty and responsibility to offer direction and leadership to Grace Community Church regarding the current political climate and any injustices? Or, is it my duty and responsibility to remain silent, focus solely on preaching the gospel, and let our generosity and charity do the talking?”
In the past, that’s what he’s chosen to do. He, as well as the church leadership, had decided to remain silent on political issues. It was the Church’s policy to steer away from political conversations at all costs for fear that one side or the other would take offense and forget the purpose of the church.
As Pastor Jarrod puts it, “No matter what I say and how careful I say it, people will only hear what they want to hear. Or, they don’t want to hear it because it doesn’t fit their opinion, or they deem it personally offensive, even hateful.”
Late last night after weeks of debate and counsel with the leadership of the Church, Pastor Jarrod decided to break his silence. In a lengthy letter to his congregation titled, “Of Politics and Presidents: A Letter to My Church,” Pastor Jones dives into several of the most hotly debated issues of the day.
He addressed Racism, Law Enforcement, the #MeToo movement, Abortion, and the separation of children from immigrant families. In the midst of sharing his heartfelt thoughts on these weighty issues, Pastor Jones is careful to express his connections to people who have dealt with these issues first hand.
Finally, he concludes the letter with this sentiment, “Let’s take our eyes off what the church is or is not doing and look at ourselves.” He challenges his congregation to be the solution rather than to only debate the cause.
To read the entire letter go to Graceoc.com/letters
Grace Community Church, Washingtonville, New York