Pastoral Letter to the Foundry Congregation
My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns;
my bile is poured out on the ground because of the destruction of my people…
Lamentations 2:11 - NRSV
We are overwhelmed with grief and sickened yet again by the tragedy and terror so many have endured this week. The weeping of children now orphaned, tears shed by families who must bury their loved ones and the heartbreak of colleagues and friends is gut wrenching. We have again been inundated by images of horror as a reality of human sin.
We are heartbroken over the murder of two more Black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We know that Black and Brown people are far more likely to be profiled and stopped by law enforcement officers. It is incumbent upon us to break the silence and surrender the privilege with which we have sanctioned the gunning down of Black and brown people.
The profiling and extrajudicial murder of these men and women must stop.
We are heartbroken over the murders of more police officers - Patrick Zamarripa, Brent Thompson, Michael Krol and two officers whose names have yet to be released. These officers were protecting the rights of people to assemble and peacefully protest. They protected these rights with their very lives. This violent retaliation is immoral, cowardly and malicious. On any given day, police officers face grave and deadly danger. The murder of these men and women must stop.
There is an erosion of trust and a deep racial divide in our country. In our covenantal life we reject evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We call on Foundry and all people of faith to reject the commercialization of violence and death. We reject the notion we must choose one side over the other. We implore all people to deconstruct our own privilege and dismantle racist structures in our workplaces, faith communities, neighborhoods, homes and hearts.
As families, communities and our nation mourn, we raise the words of the prophet Jeremiah as another invitation to opt-in to work for justice and reconciliation – “Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence… nor shed innocent blood.” (Jer 22:3)
In the coming weeks, you are invited to participate in a time of intentional daily prayer and study at 12 noon. Beginning this Monday, July 11, we will email and post a prayer and reading for your reflection. Please be mindful of your email. We are also hosting an Opt-In conversation on race, July 17, 12:30 pm in the sanctuary. More resources and conversations are forthcoming.
In the face of tragedy and injustice, we as Christian community look to the crucified and risen Lord. Jesus the Christ reveals that the love of God is stronger than all the raging, destructive powers of this world. Because of God’s love, we can hope. Because of God’s love, we can live. Because of God’s love, we can continue to believe in and work for that day when all God’s children will dwell in safety.