PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE COLLEGE OF BISHOPS Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
August 21, 2017 CME Unity Summit – Atlanta, GA
The College of Bishops of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church speaks to issues in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017, during which white supremacists, Nazis, and other racist groups gathered with guns and other weapons and chanted racist slogans. Violence ensued, many were harmed and one person was killed.
The very nature of the racism displayed and the disrespect for human life are a massive thorn in the flesh of a nation already seething with unrest. The presentation of bigotry, violence and murder from Charlottesville and other cities is not the nation we wish to be or to present to the world.
We appreciate and promote the words of former President Barack Obama during the crisis, mainly, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion ….”
The College of Bishops calls upon President Donald J. Trump, all branches of the Federal Government and all Americans of conscience to stand for righteousness and justice, without equivocation in language or actions. We denounce and we call upon civic and faith leaders of all kinds to denounce bigotry, hate language, and racism of all kinds.
We call the CME Church to be a church of action, first, by praying. Pray for those who have been victims of hate, racism, bigotry and violence. Pray for those who perpetrate these injustices and for the softening of their hearts. Pray for leaders to have the courage to speak truth to power. Second, we call on the church to get involved! Every local church and every pastor should get involved in their communities in anti-racism advocacy and action. We must stand, speak, challenge, and demand “freedom and justice” for all with faith and fervor!
THE COLLEGE OF BISHOPS OF THE CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Bishop Lawrence Reddick, Senior Bishop Bishop Marvin Thomas, Chair Bishop Henry Williamson Bishop C. James King Bishop Thomas Brown, Sr. Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, retired Bishop Kenneth W. Carter Bishop E. Lynn Brown, retired Bishop James B. Walker Bishop Ronald Cunningham, retired Bishop Sylvester Williams Bishop Othal Lakey, retired Bishop Teresa E. Jefferson-Snorton, Secretary Bishop William Graves, retired Bishop Godwin Umoette Bishop Marshall Gilmore, retired Bishop Bobby R. Best