Black Lives Matter. This is a truth we speak to ourselves, to the Church, and to the world as we witness racism continue to take the lives of Black people in America.
With grieving hearts, we speak their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Corey Jones, Atatiana Jefferson, Trayvon Martin and countless other victims of racist violence, both known and unknown, listened to and ignored. The voice of their blood cries out from the ground, and we join this cry for justice.
Again and again, we are reminded that racism is more than individual thoughts and actions. It is an immoral system that structurally discriminates against and oppresses people of color – especially Black people – through underfunded schools, lack of access to healthcare, food insecurity, discriminatory housing policies, polluted neighborhoods and undrinkable water, and an unjust criminal justice system.
As Christians, we believe that all people are children of God and deserve the same dignity, compassion, and access to a full life no matter their skin color, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, immigration status, socio-economic status, ability, education, or faith tradition.
The book of Genesis affirms that, “God created humankind in God’s own image;” that all people are beloved, blessed image-bearers of the Divine. Likewise, the Apostle Paul preaches in Galatians that “there is no longer Jew nor Greek…for all are one in Christ Jesus;” that we are united as a human race, and that in God nothing divides us. In this oneness, we must unite and resist the racism that permeates every institution in this country — including the Church — and deprives us of fully experiencing the wholeness and equality promised by God and exemplified in the life of Jesus.
Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ continues its commitment to the work of anti-racism, to dismantling the system of White supremacy, and to the co-creation with the Holy Spirit of God’s reign of peace and justice on earth. This is the work that Jesus calls us to, in courage and hope, for a transformed world where all God’s children are equal, free, and loved.
As a congregation, we will embody this commitment in our life and culture together through awareness, education, skills, application of anti-racist education, policies, and practices, as we continue to our work of dismantling racism. This includes:
-Anti-racist educational programming for children, youth, and adults
-Building relationships with diverse congregations
-Partnership with and purchases from Black-owned businesses and Black-led community organizations
-Justice work with PACT on issues of housing, gun violence, and unnecessary arrests
-Hiring practices that prioritize racial diversity
-Prophetic preaching and worship
-Prayer without ceasing for racial justice
In the name of God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, we re-affirm our commitment to dismantling racism in our nation and to the work of justice and witness for all people. Amen.