The following Statement of Solidarity has been thoughtfully prepared by the leadership of the Social Justice Advocacy Ministry at the invitation of the Church Council.
The Federated Church stands in solidarity with our Black and Brown sisters and brothers who over generations have been and continue to be subject to a high level of violence through overzealous policing, racial profiling, and white vigilantism as well as the failure of justice in our courts.
While the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police is the immediate cause of today's unrest, we acknowledge that his murder is but one example of the many ways systemic racism is rooted in our society.
We believe we are in the midst of two pandemics. COVID-19 has stolen the breath from thousands of our fellow Americans. The other -- some call it "COVID-1619" -- has been stealing the breath from our Black and Brown sisters and brothers for over 400 years. When one of us cries, "I can't breathe," we are all robbed of that Pentecost moment when the Spirit of the Lord moved like a mighty wind into bodies in that first-century crowd, giving them breath. While we may speak with many tongues, with this breath the Spirit allows us to hear and understand as though there is but one voice (Acts 2:4, 6).
We believe we are in a Pentecost moment now. The wind of the Holy Spirit has pulled the curtain back from our confusion and we now can see clearly that racism is America's Original Sin.
We seek a way forward in which every person's life is valued and communities are kept safe because those charged with protecting them realize that they themselves are part of a greater family as Children of God. We stand in solidarity with those protesting peacefully for justice and reform of law enforcement. We applaud those in law enforcement who have marched with or taken a knee with protesters in recent days.
Finally, we believe that statements like this can be empty words without follow up. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:14). In the coming weeks, the Social Justice Advocacy Ministry will create an action plan for moving forward within both our church and the community.