In times of crisis, suffering, and hardship, the Church is called to speak both prophetically and compassionately, to comfort and heal, and to call for justice and accountability. In this time of crisis, our community and our country are struggling with a confluence of crises: pandemic, economic distress, and civil unrest. In all these things, the disparity between white society and people of color is evident. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was a catalyst that once again raised questions about equal justice under the law, and brought some people into the public square to demonstrate peacefully and mourn and others to loot and vandalize.
Last Sunday, Christians celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Advocate. As the mighty wind blew and flames rested on the disciples on that day, people from all over the Roman Empire heard the Apostle Peter in their own language. God did not choose one people over another. In his sermon, Peter quoted the words of the prophet Joel:
Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions…. Then everyone who calls on the name of the L ORD shall be saved. 1 The people of Pasadena Presbyterian Church affirm that “In each time and place there are particular problems and crises through which God calls the church to act. The church, guided by the Spirit, humbled by its own complicity and instructed by all attainable knowledge, seeks to discern the will of God and learn how to obey in these concrete situations.” 2 Now is such a time and place.
We trust in the Father, who created a peaceful world for all human beings. We walk with Jesus Christ, who showed us the way to respond to one another with compassion, respect, and dignity. We will speak and preach in the Holy Spirit to bring good news to the oppressed and to comfort the brokenhearted and comfort those who mourn. We will seek ways to rebuild communities that have been devastated, both this past weekend and for generations. We will work to bring about justice and joy. 3 We who call PPC home are committed to non-violent ways to bring about justice. We stand with those who call for an end to unjust and discriminatory policies and practices, both explicit and implicit, which disproportionately affect our siblings of color and limited means.
We appeal to the leaders of our houses of worship, our cities and counties, our states and our nation to act with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love 4 in healing our communities, in combating racism in all its forms, in closing inequality gaps in healthcare, income, housing, and justice between those who have privilege and those who do not.
In Peace and Grace, The Session of Pasadena Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) 1. Joel 2:28, 32 New Revised Standard Version 2. Confession of 1967 9.43 3. Isaiah 61 4. Book of Order , W-4.0404 h