Open Letter

 June 18, 2020                                   

Dear Friends,

The Mustard Seed Foundation board is outraged at the recent killing of George Floyd and others at the hands of police. We recognize the ensuing anger, grief, and protests as a crucial moment in our national history, one that requires a response. Black lives matter to God and to us. Our hearts are broken over the ways our silence and ignorance have contributed to systemic racism against our Black brothers and sisters.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that sin and evil exist in our hearts and in our world. Each of us is often blind to our own sin and we need God to show us our sin and change our hearts. We must listen to and learn from others, to discern the actions we can and should take, both individually and collectively, in churches, institutions, and communities. Even as we work for change, we acknowledge that true and lasting change comes only from the transforming power of the gospel as Christ forms us ever more in his image. We are reminded of the clear call to actively pursue justice and reconciliation expressed in the Lausanne Covenant (Section 5), which we affirm and ascribe to as an organization.

Both in the US and globally, Mustard Seed Foundation’s mission and biases favor partnering with local churches led by the oppressed and marginalized, particularly in major urban centers. Within our US granting, we will continue to invest in the ministry efforts of churches led by African-Americans who are seeking to work for justice and healing in their communities as a clear witness for Christ. We will seek ways to more actively highlight these efforts.

We humbly call on our family, friends, grantees, and fellow Christians to heed God’s call “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God” (Micah 6:8). Through our stewardship of the Mustard Seed Foundation, three generations of the extended Bakke and Harvey families seek to be “repairers of the breach, restorers of the streets in which to dwell” (Isaiah 58:12). Jesus sought out the least, the lost, and the last, and loved them to dignity and wholeness. We should seek to do no less. We cannot do this in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we pray for the strength, grace, and wisdom to participate in establishing justice and equality.

In Christ,

Eileen Bakke

Co-Chair, on behalf of the MSF Board