The assaulting frequency of the burning down of African-American churches in southern states since the Charleston shooting is barely short of a ripple of terror across our nation. On every front, from Ferguson to Baltimore, Charleston to the communities picking up the ruins of charred church buildings, the need to declare that Black Lives Matter is clear. The Sacramento Area Congregations Together Leadership is tremendously troubled by what appears to be a plan of attack.
At the time of this writing 8 occurrences are being investigated in four states.
As faith leaders we are called to move past any of our own self-interest and to stand in solidarity with those who are closest to the pain – each pastor and congregation.
Our neutrality in situations of oppression or aggression does nothing but support the status quo. It is quite clear that genuine societal transformation in race relations is the most urgent need of our present decade.
Therefore, this prophetic statement calls on the faith leaders of the Sacramento region:
1) Join us in a Week of Righteous Resistance (WORR) to begin Sunday, July 12 and end Saturday, July 18 click HERE for more information and call 916-834-9137.
2) To enter into a fresh commitment to stand against racial violence and injustice everywhere.
3) To engage your prophetic voice in a call for deep, honest self-examinations to help expose implicit biases among those you lead and influence.
4) To expect (require) and demand justice from law enforcement and civil authority to bring perpetrators to accountability.
5) To employ courageous methods of building bridges of unity across racial lines in schools, churches and synagogues.
What might it look like when those who have been silent begin to acknowledge complicity in racial prejudices?
What might it look like when our communities actively tear down barriers and walls of racial division that lurk just beneath the surface?
As one violent tragedy after another continually brings us to a posture of prayer, may we also pray for wisdom and courage to continue the most important battle for the common good of all in the world around us.
Yours in the Movement for Righteousness,
Pastor Joy Johnson, Higher Hope Christian Church, Sacramento ACT Board President
Pastor Les Simmons, South Sacramento Christian Center, Sacramento ACT Board Member