We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

What, Then, Shall We Do?

By now many of you are receiving reports via the news media about the Keith Lamont Scott shooting that took place in Charlotte last week that explain some things we did not know then.   The shooting set off a firestorm of protest, some peaceful, some violent, and we watched on television or experienced it in person, all of it deeply gripping emotionally.  As it turns out, there was so much more to the story than was originally reported and known.  The reactions of many certainly did not wait on all the facts to emerge.

While there is still much to learn about the situation, it is apparent that Mr. Scott had some history of violent behavior.  Whether the police knew his history prior to the confrontation or not, we do not know yet.  What has ensued is, once again, a case of folks jumping to conclusions before the facts are known amid a climate and mistrust that permeates our political, economic, and social fabric.  This is, indeed, a sad, sad story, one that leaves many of us feeling angry and frustrated and with a deep sense of despair, wondering if anything can change.

My fear is that once again we will retreat to our natural sides, become satisfied with our version of the story that we can perceive, and simply go on with our lives, not really learning anything from this situation.  It will be relatively easy to place the blame on others and ignore the deeper issues.  I hope and pray that we will do better than that.  Is this a moment in which we can summon the courage and the conviction to really deal with these issues we have?

When I was young, I was small for my age.  I loved sports and spent so much of my time shooting baskets, playing catch, and throwing and kicking a football.  I was passionate about playing any sport and loved competing.  There were several instances in playing organized sports that I was looked over because of my size.  Coaches and other players would automatically assume that because I was smaller I couldn’t be effective.  It was a constant battle for me because I wanted to play so badly, but often felt left out and judged inadequate because of perceptions rather than results.  That feeling of being looked at as inferior frustrated me and left me angry.  Sometimes those feelings of anger pushed me to try harder to prove myself, but sometimes it also took all the joy out of playing.  I have come to learn that anytime someone feels “inferior” or “less than” it is a horrible feeling and leads to broken relationships.

I don’t know how it feels to be black.  I can’t imagine what a black person, especially a young, black male must feel when they walk down a street in a “white” neighborhood.  But, having a sense that they are judged as “dangerous” or “suspicious” must sting.  I recognize that when any person feels looked down on or is judged inferior based on something they have no control over, it must be infuriating.  Because of the vestiges of racism that have existed and still exist we continue to struggle and find ourselves in the same turmoil over and over.  Now, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Mr. Scott, frustrations boil over, ground is re-staked, and relations regress rather than progress.

What, then, shall we do?  Several folks have stated that while they recognize we ought to do “something”, we don’t really have a clear path forward.  Answers are hard to find.  I would like to offer some possibilities. 

Along with some clergy in our area, we are engaging in difficult yet promising dialogue.  Ironically enough, we met to discuss race relations the very afternoon of the Scott shooting (prior to the reports coming out).  Even before the shooting, some of our black clergy brothers were expressing their deep concerns over the relations between the police and the black community in Charlotte.  They spoke passionately about their experiences of feeling left out and left behind, stigmatized by their experience of being black in a world that sees them as suspicious.  We have planned another conversation in October that we hope will be both honest about our feelings and yet still maintain our deep connection in the faith.

Some of us here have dreamed for a few years now of a “partnership” that would emerge from the work that Justin Stewart and others have begun.  That work that is called “MAD HOOPS” and “Not Here Ministries” offers possibility that we might build on the trusting relationships that have developed over the years, capitalizing and building on them.  My hope is that we might bridge the gap that exists, both learning from these young men and women about their experiences and sharing the gifts we can bring.  These gifts we might offer include help and direction with finding a path that leads to the fulfillment of their dreams of education and success in a chosen endeavor.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could learn from them and they learn from us?  Wouldn’t it be great if we could broaden our understandings of our shared humanity and we could all benefit?

We will be contemplating what those partnerships might look like.  If you have ideas or suggestions, I would be grateful to hear them.  No idea is off the table, so speak up!  Send an e-mail to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give me a call at 704-875-1156.

And so, what, then, shall we do?  The one thing I don’t want us to do is give up.  The hope I have is that God will take this tragedy and create something beautiful from it.  That tends to be the way that God works.  The cross and the resurrection of Jesus give us a model and a template for how these things work.  Let’s not stay on Good Friday and remain dead to possibility.  Instead, let us move to the hopefulness that new life and resurrection emerge even from the most trying of circumstances.  That will do.  Yes, that will do.