Racial Justice Committee

In the book of Revelation, John describes heaven as, “a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb.” This is no homogenous group but instead a colorful collection of humanity. This vision of the future provides insight into the kind of church we should strive to create here and now.

In 2016, Bridgetown Church began waking up to the myth of a post-racial America. Since then, we have felt the Spirit moving us from being mono-cultural to becoming a multi-ethnic expression of the Kingdom of God. In 2019, leaders of color gathered over multiple dinners with the pastoral team and as they shared their stories, our eyes were opened more to the need for change. And from that, in 2020, we started this journey in a more structured and sustainable way, which is why we are excited to announce the Bridgetown Church Racial Justice Committee.

 


 

 


Why do we exist?


To empower Bridgetown Church to pursue racial equity, be a conduit of cultural transformation, and cultivate an environment of unity in diversity.

How will we get there?


Create a sustainable structure for fostering racially, ethnically, and culturally inclusive and equitable practices within all aspects of Bridgetown Church through leadership and partnership.

Who are we and how do we work together?


Our work will be guided and informed by our beliefs and commitments to:

Inclusiveness: We respect each other, value diversity, and are committed to equity and equality. We are on this journey, as brothers and sisters in Christ, because of the love that we have for each other and for God.

Mutual Learning: We value honesty, authenticity, and accountability and view learning as a journey. We approach new ideas with open hands and humble hearts. We recognize that love and truth are at their best when they are hand in hand.

Embrace: We commit to being each other’s secure confidants where love hopes the best, grace is extended and received, and we embody healer and caregiver intention.

Faithfulness: We value consistency in prayer, presence, and peacemaking. We are committed to staying faithful to Jesus and the writings in the old and new testament’s, holding to their moral and spiritual vision of good and evil and human flourishing.

Togetherness: We believe that we experience and see God more holistically when spaces reflect a multiethnic, multicultural, and multigenerational community, and are bound together in love by the Holy Spirit.

 


Committee Members

The Bridgetown Racial Justice Committee has both staff and non-staff members who meet regularity as a whole and in sub-committees to lead the church toward racial justice in every aspect of life.

 

Christa Nutor, Co-Chair
I am a Black/Ghanaian-American who grew up in a loving, midwestern Christian home. I love writing, spreading joy, and a good occasional spreadsheet. I have been a  part of Bridgetown since 2017 and work as a finance analyst. I want to see lives informed and transformed by God’s heart for doing justice in our communities. The church should be the first place that all people can come for healing and should represent God’s vision of “on earth as it is in heaven” to the best of their ability, which includes a beautifully diverse and just society.

Tiffany Flores, Co-Chair
I am a native New Mexican, wife, and mother of two. I love good coffee, being outdoors, and creativity. I identify as Hispanic, have been a part of Bridgetown since 2018, and work as a Strategic Account Executive. I would like to see the Lord bring reconciliation through this committee. I imagine people who have been marginalized finding a family of God where they bring their whole selves to the table without fear of rejection. I imagine a family of God who learns to love those who have different experiences and backgrounds. As image bearers, our identity is incredibly important to God. Our race, ethnicity and culture are central to our identity, and therefore our growth and discipleship.

Gavin Bennett, Co-Chair
I was born in Annapolis, Maryland, but I have lived in Portland since 1995. I love quality time with my family and friends, reading good books, and getting lost in deep conversation with loved ones. I identify as White, have been a part of Bridgetown since 2010, and am a Pastor of Communities. I want to see Bridgetown come to the conviction that racial justice and multiculturalism are not simply right or good — they are the ways of the Kingdom.  This work is important because it is about embodying the deeply good reality of God’s Kingdom and joining him to set right the brokenness of our world.

Deidre Burton
I am a mother of 3 bi-racial young adult children, native Oregonian, and I love to travel. I identify as African American, have been a part of Bridgetown since 2017, and am a Pediatrician. I hope to increase awareness of individual implicit bias and history of exclusion from the Church of people of color, to cultivate compassion for the obstacles to belonging for sisters and brothers of color, and facilitate change within our own body that impacts equity and inclusion in our community. How can we walk in love when we don’t recognize what is in our hearts and the unintended injury we cause others by implicit bias and passive exclusion?

Jarin Oda
I was born and raised in O’ahu, Hawai’i, and have been in Portland since 2013. I love eating good food, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors. I identify as Hawai’i born Japanese-American, have been a part of Bridgetown since 2014, and am the Pastor of Youth. I want to see the recognition and empowerment of diverse voices in the church. Racial justice helps us recognize that without diverse voices, we don’t get the full Kingdom of God. It is a reminder that no individual culture, class, or race can represent the full Kingdom of God; so diversity invites us to be surprised by God.

Joy Mulumba
I am a father to a cute, little boy named Léon and husband to Adrienne, a brilliant and beautiful woman. I identify as Congolese-French American, have been a part of Bridgetown since 2013, and I am a manager at a non-profit. I want us to set our hearts and minds free from prejudice in order to love the way He loves us. The work of racial justice is important for the Church to engage in because God forgave us our transgressions and He calls us to a ministry of forgiveness, but also there’s no reconciliation without admission of transgressions.

Gabriel Flores
I am husband to Tiffany and a father of two wonderful children. I prefer the outdoors over indoors, and coffee and Fly Fishing are my jam. I identify as Latino/Hispanic and have been a part of Bridgetown since 2018. My hope for Bridgetown is to see a family of people being fully human, fully alive, together. Not only in touch with their culture and race, but deeply rooted as children of God. Seeing that Jesus invites us into a space to love our neighbor, I believe the church can absolutely model in this space of racial reconciliation. The need has never been more apparent. Moving from the exception to the rule requires an obscene amount of work, work that I’m so glad to be a part of.

Christian Dawson
I am a Seattle native, and I have two brothers and a sister-in-law. I enjoy playing music, portrait photography, and movies. My mother is an immigrant from Ethiopia, and my father is Black from Oakland, CA, so I am quite literally African American. I’ve been following the Bridgetown journey for five years, and have been on staff as a pastor since 2020. I see God shaping our church to look more like the new human family that Jesus is creating. I have a strong conviction that the Kingdom work of racial justice and reconciliation is a byproduct of a life in Jesus’ Kingdom and under His leadership. It is a sign to the world as well as the spiritual realm that there is a new King and Kingdom.

Tyler Staton
I moved to Portland from Brooklyn, NY to fill the role of lead pastor at Bridgetown Church in 2021. Prior to that, I served as the co-founder and Lead Pastor at Oaks Church Brooklyn. I identify as White, and my wife Kirsten and I have two young boys, and are loving getting to know the city and church community. I want Bridgetown to embrace the Kingdom vision of kinship, becoming a reconciled and reconciling community across racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines. The RJC is taking active, intentional steps to see our vision of racial reconciliation realized. Without their leadership, reconciliation remains an aspiration, but with the RJC, we are taking concrete steps toward that vision, empowered and equipped by pastors and laypeople from our local body.

Kylee Logan
I was adopted from China, grew up in Provo, Utah, and relocated to Portland in 2015. I love design, music, and coffee. I identify as Chinese-American, have been at Bridgetown since 2015, and am the Communications Manager. I want to see people of color empowered to live into their identities, callings, and giftings, for unity, and for Bridgetown to become a multi-ethnic church, mirroring God’s Kingdom. We miss out on parts of who God is and what he has for his Church when we only listen to one perspective. As the Body of Christ, the work of racial justice is critical, that every part of the body may be honored (1 Cor 12).

Tyler Hanns
I was born in Orange County, California and grew up in Northern Arizona. I am married and a father of three kids. I identify as White American, have been a part of Bridgetown since 2010, and am the Creative Director of Bridgetown Church. I want to see Bridgetown become a multicultural church experience. I believe that the church is best when the whole family of God is together. So we have to do the work for Bridgetown to become a people and a place where that can happen well.

Bethany Allen
I identify as White, have been at Bridgetown since 2011, and am the Pastor of Spiritual Formation and Leadership Development. My hope is that Jesus will bring depth and diversity to our church. I long to see Bridgetown become a church that is not only multi-ethnic but also multicultural in it’s expression. The work of racial justice and reconciliation is important to me because it is family work. Every person who has experienced racial injustice and inequity is our family — they are a part of us, and where there is pain and brokenness in one part of the body, there is pain and brokenness for all of us.

 


Connect With Us

Let us know if you would like to connect with any of the members on our Racial Justice Committee. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

 


Apply to the Committee

If you care deeply about racial justice and a multi-cultural expression of church at Bridgetown, we would love to have you become a part of the Racial Justice Committee. Apply to join a subcommittee.

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