Friends, God has put this into our hands as people of faith in Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery. We are not the only ones charged with this work. But make no mistake, we ARE charged with the often hard work of doing justice and loving kindness in a world where justice and kindness are in such short supply.
Today, the Vision Team of the Presbytery, on behalf of the whole Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy says unequivocally – NO MORE! Not here in this presbytery; not anywhere! There can be no more violence against persons of color. We will not accept it. We will no longer respond to these atrocities with silence and a shrug, even as we pray for victims and wait to suffer yet again.
And we call upon each of our 70 congregations to:
- Boldly denounce the sins of racism and white supremacy,
- Seek historical education about the knowledge of the lived realities of AAPI people in the U.S.
- Take action with AAPI siblings against racial hatred and violence,
- React only with grace and compassion to AAPI siblings’ pain.
(from a March 18 statement from the Racial Equity Advocacy Committee of the PC(USA))
We are moved to write this statement in response to this particular event in Georgia, even as we recognize that this is only the most recent attack against Asian American persons, attacks that have grown sharply in numbers as the pandemic was blamed on them. But we echo this statement for any act of violence or discrimination against persons of color, or women, LGBTQIA+ persons, or those differently-abled.
Poet Simone Weil (1909-43) wrote, “At the bottom of the heart of every human being, from earliest infancy until the tomb, there is something that goes on indomitably expecting, in the teeth of all experience of crimes committed, suffered, and witnessed, that good and not evil will be done. It is this above all that is sacred in every human being.”
May we lift up God’s good within us in these troubled days.
The Vision Team, Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Barbara Bowyer, Vision Team Moderator
Rev. Bob Jensen, Presbytery Bridge Leader