This has been an especially tumultuous week in our country. The murder of George Floyd again exposed the glaring injustices experienced by our neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ of color throughout our nation's history. If you and your Sunday School Communities found yourselves hurting, angry, exasperated, or unsure of what to do, you are not alone.
Yesterday, alongside our pastor and many ministers of color, I attended a time of prayer followed by the march for justice from Discovery Green to City Hall. It was a humbling experience to pray and stand in solidarity with brothers and sisters of color and to learn from them. I shed tears as George Floyd's family asked the nearly 60,000 present not to forget George's name, prayed for the plight of minorities, and called on Houston to march peacefully. During the march I walked silently. I needed to feel the collective hurt of the city. I needed to let the cries for justice sink in. The communal frustration, grief, hurt, and hope erupted around me in chants of ?I can't breathe,? and, ?What's his name? George Floyd.?
It was incredibly heartening to experience the peaceful protest and march of thousands of Houstonians. We passed lines of police; every peace officer in Houston was on duty. Each were present: standing, smiling, and engaging with those who wished to converse. The Mayor and Police Chief marched with the crowds. I am proud of our city. As our pastor was quoted in Houston Press, ?Houston is going to lead the way for the nation to figure out how people can come together and today is a beautiful demonstration of our city coming together to take care of each other, to speak for peace, to call for justice, and to settle for less than neither? (find the article here).
Many of our Sunday School Communities are already discussing how they might work for justice and peace, and live as witnesses for God's Kingdom. I have heard many of our Sunday School leaders ask the following questions during such conversations:
What broke your heart this week?What have you learned as you listened to our brothers and sisters in Christ of color this week? Or from friends of color?What gives you hope?What can we do? Individually, in our families, and as a church to combat racism and work for a more just society?
In the days ahead I encourage you to look for opportunities to give your Community the chance to reflect on such questions together. Next, listen to one another, especially to those whose experiences are different from your own. Third, share your thoughts with one another and with your pastoral team on what we can do as a church to combat racial injustice in our community and country. And, finally, pray for one another, our families, church, and nation to have the fortitude and courage to continue working toward a manner of life together that more faithfully reflects God's Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.