Black lives matter.
As Christians and people of faith, we are called to be the conscience of the nation. For too long we have stood by in collaborative silence. It is time we take a stand.
To remain silent while our black and brown brothers and sisters are murdered in cold blood is complicity. To call for peace and unity without condemning brutality and without taking action is a willful dismissal of hundreds of years of pain and abuse.
We belong to a faith tradition that is often a tale of two Jesuses; the Jesus of the predominantly white, Western church constructed by institutions of power and oppression, and the actual Jesus we read about in scripture. Jesus was a brown, Middle-Eastern Jewish refugee that was executed by the justice system of the time. He spent his public life sitting with the marginalized, challenging the power structures that systemically harmed people, feeding people when they were hungry, listening to those in pain, and sitting with people who were hurting. Jesus was not a passive preacher of peace; he was a man with holy anger over the suffering of the marginalized. This is who we are called to be.
As a predominantly white church, we are committed to choosing action and compassion over convenience. We commit to listening to, learning from, and standing alongside our black and brown brothers and sisters. We will act as a shield, our example being Jesus. We commit to challenging the complacency and comfortability that perpetuates the unjust system that exists, and we choose to educate ourselves on the ways to actively and sustainably combat injustice in our world. To borrow the words of Angela Davis, we are no longer accepting the things we cannot change. We are changing the things we cannot accept.
Here are the commitments we are making as a church:
1. We will actively support organizations working for racial justice.
2. We will protest and we will publicly speak out.
3. We will support policies that reflect our values and recognize the humanity of all God’s children—every single human being.
– We will send letters.
– We will make phone calls.
– We will sign petitions.
“Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won”
(from the hymn, Lift Every Voice and Sing)
Westwood UMC Church Council
Sherry Burch, Chair
Kathleen Rodgers, Vice-Chair
Ellen Evans Agee