Groundswell for racial justice
I look up to the mountains… . My strength comes from God who made heaven and earth and mountains.
— Psalm 121: 1-2 (MSG)
In the aftermath of the violence that is unraveling our communities, the board and staff of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) lament and prayerfully seek to identify ways to give voice to hope in the face of the palpable anger, pain and fear many are feeling. We desire to offer words of comfort, hope and concrete constructive action to heal and renew our spirits as we continue the work toward justice for all. We all have a sense of loss and questions about our safety in varying degrees. No one should ever feel that his or her life is valued less than another. Violence in response to violence is never the answer.
As a diverse body of believers, American Baptists look to our history, which reminds us that we believe the Gospel is the driving force in matters of justice and is central to healing and constructive action. What affects one group affects us all. We cannot remain silent and inactive in the face of injustice and inequality. We must confront the issues at the core of the violence, including racism, fear, distrust and the disparities in the economic and criminal justice systems. These issues must be brought to light and discussed in the hope of progressing from courageous conversation to courageous action.
Therefore, we invited an interracial group of American Baptist faith leaders to help launch American Baptist discussion.
- Barnabas Partners: “End Police Killings of Innocent Black Lives“
- ABCUSA Taskforce on Race and Race-Based Violence Letter for Action
- Rev. Dr. Cheryl F. Dudley: “Be Angry But Do Not Sin”
- Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft: “It’s Safe to Murder Negroes in America”
- Rev. Susan Sparks: “It’s Our Time to Move”
- Rev. Harold Dean Trulear, Ph.D.: “Individual spirituality at the expense of seeking God’s will for those on the margins”
- Rev. Marie Onwubuariri: “Journey toward bold”
- BPFNA Statement on Centering Black Lives in Pursuit of Racial Justice
We invite you to read the reflections and share your thoughts on the “Creating a Groundswell for Racial Justice” Facebook group. We hope the reflections will prompt critical thinking and open the door for courageous conversation and action. We hope that these interactions will be interracial, intergenerational and culturally diverse. We encourage you to facilitate courageous conversation and action in your homes, congregations, workplaces and communities.
Places for conversation
Photo credit: M H