Reflections - Aug. 18, 2017

danby Rev. Dan Brown


By now, we have all heard of how evil and tragedy found expression in the quiet little town of Charlottesville, Virginia. In the days ahead, we will no doubt hear more from law enforcement officials, politicians, and the news media. However, it has been my experience that when such terrible events take place, Christians also want to hear what the Church has to say. With that in mind, I wanted you to hear clearly what your Church has to say.

First, our own bishop of the North Georgia Conference, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson wrote on Saturday, August 12, "We in North Georgia need to, with one voice, speak from our pulpits tomorrow and condemn white supremacy, racism, the Alt-Right, and any of our church and governmental leaders who even appear to support these dangerous and sinful attitudes. You simply cannot be a white supremacist and a follower of Jesus. We need to pray and take action."

Bishop Sharma Lewis is the bishop of the Virginia Area. She was elected to the episcopacy from the North Georgia Conference and was appointed one year ago on September 1. I had the privilege of serving on the cabinet with her. She is one of the most humble, devout people I know. She wrote...

"As we continue to process the disturbing events from Charlottesville, we need to turn to God for understanding, guidance and strength in our next steps. As Christians and United Methodists, we are to act. Hatred of any kind, including racism, is intolerable. As faithful people, we are commanded to address it by being witnesses and advocates for the marginalized. Racism remains in the world. While progress has been made, particularly since the days of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we must eliminate racism and not stop until it is fully and irrevocably gone."

On a personal level, I don't want there to be any question that your Senior Minister is profoundly opposed to the attitudes and actions expressed in white supremacy, racism, injustice, and violence. We are followers of the One who taught us to love one another.

I do invite us to pray for the victims. I also invite us to pray that the light of God's love might pierce the dark in the hearts of those who hate. Finally, I invite us to look within our own hearts and lives for the shadows of these attitudes and actions. As we pray and take a stand against these issues, may we also seek the forgiving, transforming grace of Christ that we might more fully reflect His love and goodness.

 dan-brown-black

 

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