I am pleased and proud to say that First Congregational Church (Moline, IL) raised $4,100 to send to the Mother Emanuel AME Church Hope Fund. Money is not all we have to give, but it is privilege and honor to contribute to this fund for hope as we look for other ways to fight against racial terrorism and Christian passivity.
The media is playing President Obama’s singing of Amazing Grace in his eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinkney. But the President’s eulogy offers much more than this song: he calls us to express God’s grace today, in our world; he tells the truth about racism in the United States–about the Confederate Flag, Gun Control, the prison system, poverty–all within the context of faith.
I invite all of my friends: those who have not lost their faith in the church and who seek to express God’s grace with their lives; those who have left the church because it has worshiped its own traditions, because has been too slow to engage the movements for human dignity and justice of our age, because it has loved comfort and feared conflict; and those who see faith as weakness and belief as a sham; I invite all of my friends to watch the entire video of President Obama’s eulogy, or download the full text ( .pdf | .docx ): the President puts into words what I believe and what Christians in my life see as the heart of faith.
I am hearing parishioners asking about security in our churches–in white churches.
If you have seen my Facebook posts, you know that I am heartbroken by the assassination of Pr. Clementa Pinckney and the murder of 8 people during a bible study. I need to say something that will be difficult for you to hear.
We are safe. What happened in Charleston was racial terrorism. We need to see that we are safe from this kind of terror being directed at us–we will not be targeted because we are not black.
Let us pray to be open to what we might hear and see through this horrifying event, asking how we can respond to our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in fact targets of racial terror, and confessing how through silence or passivity we have permitted this terror to live in American soil.