Central Maryland Ecumenical Council Statement On Violence Against Communities of Faith
We have been inundated with news of violence perpetrated at houses of faith. The church fires in Louisiana and the shootings across the nation, along with massacres overseas have left us feeling fearful and shaken. We stand in solidarity with all houses of faith, condemning all acts of violence and intolerance.
We are reminded that those who offer change are often the subject of hate and violent actions. It is those who fear love, peace and unity who resort to these actions. Christ calls us to forgive. Forgive them for they know not what they do. It is hard not strike back and even harder to find a place of forgiveness in our hearts. But it is necessary. It is necessary to look beyond the acts and see the persons, see their point of pain and brokenness.
Jesus Christ saw those around him who did not understand the great love that he has for all of creation. He saw the absence of his disciples as their fear overtook them. He saw the officials who were lawfully completing their jobs. He saw those who were receiving the same punishment, yet did not accept responsibility for their actions. He saw the house of faith afraid of the change. Yet he saw God, who is greater than all of these people and situations.
Jesus said, Woman behold your son and Son behold your mother. He left us responsible for each other. This responsibility goes beyond just surviving to thriving. We have to protect, nurture and assist the vulnerable. We must move across lines of faith, gender, race and class to proclaim forgiveness and acceptance. No one should fear the unknown. God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death and God’s rod and staff comforts us.
Let us stand together, worship together, and forgive together. It is in our solidarity that we will find the strength to forgive. It is our responsibility to provide for the most vulnerable and our privilege.
With the Peace of Christ Jesus,
Rev. Dellyne I. Hinton,