A crowd of laity and clergy joined Bishop Ward at the NC State Capitol Building on June 27 to Stand Against Racism.
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward:
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God. All people may rest in the shadow of your wings. They feast at the abundance of your table and drink from the wellspring of your great delight.”
On Saturday, 90 or so United Methodists gathered on the grounds of the North Carolina Capitol to give witness. Together we prayed. Together we shared deep lament and together we shared commitment to build the new world God desires.
Rev. Nathan Arledge (Myers Park UMC):
So proud of the turnout that we had here today at the Capitol building, for people who are taking a stand against racism and what that taking a stand means is becoming anti-racists, to know that we have such a journey to go forward with, to know that the turnout today made a physical commitment and setting themselves into a place of saying no more of this is allowed.
Rev. Angelo Sanchez (519 Church):
I came out today really just to be present and to listen to the voices of other people within our Annual Conference of the Methodist Church really standing up and speaking out against systemic oppression and racism and police brutality and things that just shouldn’t exist within God’s kingdom and yet they exist within our world and not just within our world, but right here within our communities. I think it’s important for leaders in the church – clergy, and lay leaders – to come and be present and stand with our sisters and brothers of color.
Cooper Sykes (NC Conference Youth President):
I am very happy to be out here today because I know that I belong to a church that cares about those in it, cares about the lives that are being brutally murdered and oppressed and systematically destroyed.
The scriptures describe for us spacious places. The space around Jesus Christ was always hospitable and welcoming. “Go,” he said, and “gather all to come to the feast, to come to the party.” This is our heart song as United Methodist people. And so across eastern North Carolina, we work in our communities with our mayors and city councils and other elected officials to make decisions about gracious and safe public spaces.
Thank you for your witness, for your leadership, and for your faithfulness in this time.