May 29, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Wayzata Community Church,
Within the context of a suffering world, and in the shadow of more than 100,000 dead from Covid-19 in our own country, the tragic death of George Floyd has ignited emotions and, once again, brought into clear focus the ongoing consequences of our nation’s “original sin”. The events in our city and in cities around the country since Monday night, have only reinforced the depth of our divisions and created further ripples of pain and suffering. The unjust treatment of people of color is a travesty at every level and violence, in any form, is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, what then are we to do? As followers of Jesus and believers in a God of love, we know what is required of us: to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)
Do justice. Thoughts and prayers are needed, but even more so is action. The familiarity of this scene compels us to new and renewed efforts to contribute to what Dr. King once said paraphrasing the 19th century abolitionist, Theodore Parker: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Under the limitations created by the Coronavirus, we invite you to contact city officials to call for justice and ensure that those responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death are brought to justice and every effort is made to avoid a similar tragedy in the future.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: 612-673-2100
Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman: 612-348-5550
Minneapolis Police Chief Arredondo: 612-673-3550
Love kindness. Our world is often defined by big events for all to witness. However, we know that it is through small acts of loving kindness that our world is shaped. We need to look no further than the neighbor, stranger, or friend that we encounter today to see where love begins. In ever-widening circles of concern, our love must find function in bringing about the peaceable kingdom promised in scripture. “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” —Mother Teresa
Walk humbly. Humility is the first step toward God. This is not a false posture of inaction, but a genuine act of discipline on behalf of the One who showed us the way to peace. Humility requires our ability to see all people as unique, unrepeatable children of God and to treat them accordingly. “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.” —Philippians 5:5-8
This moment demands that we take time to self-reflect, to seek God’s guidance and ask the proverbial question, “What would Jesus do?”. Our faith tradition is built upon the autonomy of the local church and the private convictions of its members, so search your own heart and mind, and listen carefully for the still, quiet voice of God.
Friends, the pandemic under which we presently live is challenging us in ways never expected and creating stress we’ve never known. We are susceptible to experiencing all of our emotions with greater intensity. It’s easy to want to fix blame when our call is to fix problems— beginning with those within our own heart. So pray for discernment and God’s guidance in all matters, but most especially as it relates to actions and events that are an offense to God— violence, hatred, racism, and injustice in all forms.
Believing deeply in the power of prayer to change not only our world but to change us, we invite you to join us in praying for the victims of this latest tragedy: George Floyd, his family, his friends, his employer, the business owners and innocent casualties of violent rioting. Pray for our city, state, and nation and our leaders at every level of power and those in peaceful protest. Pray for all police officers and their families, especially those involved in the death of Mr. Floyd. Pray for all people of faith who hold values of peace, love, and reconciliation. And pray for the healing of our world— in body, mind, and spirit.
Your Pastoral Response Group
Deacons: Nancy Benedict, Chair; Amy Fulco, Vice-Chair; Reid Shaw, Past Chair
Clergy: John Ross, Danielle Jones, Rustin Comer, Leslie Neugent
Click here to send a message to the Pastoral Response Group.
THE PASTORAL RESPONSE GROUP (PRG) comprises Clergy and Deacon leaders with responsibility for the spiritual health of the congregation. This group was conceived and requested by Senior Minister, John Ross, in 2017 in response to ongoing acts of violence and hatred striking the heart and soul of our nation. The purpose of this group (which may be convened by any member therein) is to discern what may need to be spoken to, or through, Wayzata Community Church in response to significant public events.