Trinity members and friends,
In response to the Charlotte shooting two days ago and tragic Uptown protests last night, the hard issues of racial relations – so prevalent in other cities across our country – have hit home in our beloved Queen City. It is sad and challenging to see a city we love experience violence in ways many of us have only encountered through the news.
We cry out with the prophets of old and the voices of today, “how long, O Lord, how long?” And it’s true – we oftentimes find it hard to know exactly how to respond as people of faith to things like this. We are shocked and deeply saddened anytime people encounter pain, hurt, a lack of security or the loss of a loved one.
As your pastors we’ve asked ourselves: how can we respond individually and collectively to the events of this week in faithful and meaningful ways? Here’s what we thought would be most helpful for our community:
First: that we pray for the family of Keith Lamont Scott, for police injured, for protestors grieving, for officers protecting. Pray in such a way that we open our hearts to God and listen to the ways God is calling us to cry out for justice and peace – remembering the words of Frederick Buechner: “Go where your best prayers take you.”
Second, that we consider with honest and open dialogue the ways in which we – knowingly or unknowingly, individually or collectively – have participated in systems that lead to injustice and brokenness. Acknowledge this as a way for healing to begin where pain has taken place.
Third, that we listen without judgment or fear to the stories of people different from us, with an open heart to perspectives that may challenge us. Read blog posts from those who have different experiences from our own; seek out companionship with those we don’t necessarily agree with. Allow our listening to stir up in us a greater understanding and capacity to see things from another perspective, and to appreciate and honor those perspectives whether we agree with them or not.
Lastly, we want you to know that the two of us are prayerfully considering ways we as a congregation can partner with others to educate ourselves on issues of racial division and injustice, with the goal of bringing peace and healing to our city and to those grieving over injustice. We hope to share our plans with you in the future and ask that your prayerfully consider being part of them.
Blessings to each of you as we seek to follow Jesus in these challenging times!
Steve and Grace
Please read a letter from the Presbytery of Charlotte regarding the shootings and protests by clicking HERE.