With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others, it is not possible to remain silent. This moment is an opportunity, for some to wake up and for others who've been awake to go more deeply. To consider and confront the systems of racism that we have created, perpetuated, or benefited from.
We stand with black Americans, and especially with young people, in your anger.
Systemic racism is not right, and it should not continue.
As people of faith we believe that racism is a sin, not just a sociological issue, so there is personal and corporate repentance to be done.
The ancient scripture is our foundational resource. It says clearly that every human being is created in the image of God and it calls us to transformative action.
Loving the neighbor, seeking the well being of those who've been cast out, privileging the common good over selfish aims, define our faith in God and compel us to be repairers of the breach.
We must coalesce our power and gifts on the side of the marginalized, discover mutual self interest with people who have been cast down and raise each other up.
At this moment in the city of Baltimore we are particularly called to work on public safety and reforming the criminal justice system. On public education and providing necessary funds for both students and schools to thrive. On job training and work readiness with a commitment to a living wage. On safe affordable housing for all.
Systemic change will only come through creating and strengthening relationships across divides of race, class, gender, and sexuality. When we know each other someone else's pain is not theoretical. When one person bleeds everyone suffers. Yet we all can rise.
We are people of prayer but what do you do after you pray?
We build the beloved community by dismantling systems that privilege white people over others.
Black lives matter.
Rev. David J. Ware is Rector of the Church of the Redeemer