Dear United Methodist friends,
In the wake of hate and violence unleashed in Charlottesville, let us remember who we are and what we offer to the world. We are God’s people, given identity and destiny in baptism. We are God’s people, nurtured into distinctive discipleship as Christ-followers. We are God’s people, given courage, wisdom, strength, and unity by the Holy Spirit.
We have renounced the spiritual forces of wickedness, rejected the evil powers of the world and repented of our sin.
We have accepted the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
We have confessed Jesus Christ as Savior, trusted in divine grace, and promised to serve God in union with the church Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.
Therefore, according to the grace given to us, let us be faithful in resisting racism and bigotry in any form. Let us pray for the families of Heather Heyer, Berke Bates, and Jay Cullen, and for the persons injured. Let us pray for civic and religious leaders in every place, particularly in Charlottesville. Let us be intentional, unrelenting and persistent in confessing, resisting and dismantling racism in our communities and in the world.
This is our calling today and this week and in the days to come.
The things, good Lord, that we pray for, give us the grace to labor for.
– Thomas More, United Methodist Hymnal, 408
With gratitude for your partnership in Christ’s ministry,
Hope Morgan Ward