The Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. Micah 6:8
Together with our community, we mourn the loss of George Floyd, a beloved community member, who lost his life to police violence, and condemn the grievous injustices that led to his death. And while our black and brown sisters and brothers have continually been gasping for air in the midst of ongoing racism, violence and oppression that still exists in our community, for many of us of privilege, this week has served to remind us that we have much work to do to address these systemic injustices. To be frank, we don’t need anymore reminders. We need to do our work. But where do we begin? Where do we go from here? How will we ever move forward?
Grieve - This is where we start
Often when we see what is broken, our instincts are to either try to fix it or ignore it, hoping that it will go away. Perhaps what we need to do first is to attend to it. The practice of lament is abundant in our scriptures and in Christian tradition writ large, but not so much in the American Church. Our fear of touching those deep places of grief often keep us from entering into the necessary work of healing. And yet, we follow a God and savior who suffered with us, and invites us to suffer and grieve alongside one another. May 31st, we centered our gathering on grieving George Floyd's death so that we might expand our capacity to hold the grief with our black sisters and brothers, and stand with them in greater solidarity. You can watch the rebroadcast and participate in that gathering of lament here.
Pray - Lean into Infinite Love as our source
Bring your burdened heart and suffering community to God, joining your cry to the cry of God's Spirit. Pray for the family and friends of George Floyd. Pray for the officers involved in his murder and their families. Pray for our city’s leaders and law enforcement. Pray for the protesters who are crying out in pain. Pray for justice. Pray for those experiencing loss in the wake of violence and destruction. Pray for our firefighters and first responders. Pray for black and brown bodies that have experienced chronic and generational trauma. Pray for healing. Pray as the Spirit leads. Join us as we set a daily alarm on our phones for 5:25pm - the date of Floyd’s death as a reminder to stop and pray.
Act - Take one tangible step internally
Take one step in your own anti-racism and peacemaking work. There are incredible resources out there and here are just a few…
Upper Room is hosting two book studies to create a space for us to step into this work together. More details can be found here.
If you are looking for a place to start, follow this link for articles, podcasts, books, organizations doing amazing work and more…
Check out this post from Austin Channing Brown that feels especially helpful in light of the protests responding to Floyd’s death. She encourages us to: Ask the critical questions. Find thoughtful answers. Work for the world you want.
We shared this email with parents which includes several resources for families.
Act - Take one tangible step externally
Consider one small act to bring a spirit of unity and peace to our weary community.
Join a neighborhood clean-up or offer to help local businesses that have been damaged. Ask business owners what you can do to help and bring your own brooms, shovels, trash bags, etc.
This Google Doc (put together by two Minneapolis residents Margaret McCarron and Kyrra Rankine) is an amazing compilation of ways to help or show support. And it is being updated in real time.
Please note - information is changing rapidly. Please confirm the locations are still accepting donations or needing help before heading out.
These are hard and heavy days. God have mercy. Christ have mercy. Spirit have mercy.