Confession, Repentance, Action: A response to the murder of George Floyd


Dear friends in Christ,

Things are not alright in our cities. If we’ve been listening to our black and brown brothers and sisters, things have not been alright in our city or nation for decades and indeed back to our founding. The sin of racism infects the soul of our country, and the death of George Floyd is but the latest manifestation of that infection. It is in our schools, our justice system, our homes, and even our churches.
In order to respond faithfully, like all sin, we in the church must be ready to confess it. Last night, in an impromptu prayer vigil following our weekly Compline service, we did just that, praying the whole Great Litany, and bidding prayers for the repose of the soul of George Floyd. Now we must go beyond confession and begin wrestling with how to root out racism in our communities, churches, and individual lives. As the late great theologian James Cone once said, “White American Christians want to do Christian theology, but they don’t want to talk about race. Now, how in the hell are you going to do Christian theology in a world that is defined by racism, that is defined by colonialism”. He might as well have asked, not only how we “do Christian theology”, but, how do we DO Christian faith at all without addressing racism?
On Tuesday evening, in response to the anger that was even then bubbling up all over the city, I posted this to our parish Facebook page:
Let your anger smolder. Let it drive the engine that causes you to write to our leaders, to give generously to organizations fighting racial injustice, to teach your children about white privilege and how systems of injustice work. Let your anger cause you to pen letters to the editor, to ruthlessly search your interior life for where racism has a toehold and confess it. Let your anger keep you awake to injustice and galvanize you for the work of solidarity and advocacy.”
Since Tuesday we’ve been posting ways (herehere, & here) that you can take action. In the letter last night from our Bishop and Bishop-elect, you will find even more practical steps we can take. I urge you to read their letter and take action. In the days ahead, we’ll keep posting an action per day to our Facebook page as well as an invitation to join in the essential work of anti-racism dialogue and education. We confess, we repent, and we act. 

Lastly, if you missed our prayers last night, join us again, next Wednesday evening at 7PM (the service link will be shared on Monday with information about how to join) for another service of prayer and repentance.
Continue to pray for our city, for those who are hurting, for our African American neighbors and friends, for businesses and neighborhoods that now need to rebuild, and for all affected by the sin of racism and injustice in our city and nation.
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