New signs will show support for African American community

Members of WGPC’s Advocacy Team are standing with the African American community with the placement of new signs on our church grounds.

Advocacy Team Co-Chairs Julie Burchett and Janice Seele said the decision was a call to action rooted in faith. They are asking for the support of the congregation as they move forward with the project. The following letter was submitted for publication.

Recognizing that as Christians, we are called to be Christ’s hands, feet, and voices on earth, the Advocacy Committee recently had a difficult and courageous conversation about race and how we can lend a supportive voice to the African American community. The committee voted to show our support and our commitment to end systemic racism by placing signs in front of the church. One of them is a ‘Black Lives Matters’ sign.  Another says ‘End Systemic Racism’ and the last says ‘We Stand With You.’

America’s communities of color have been hit hardest in these past weeks and months – by both the coronavirus and catastrophic job losses. Then came the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, and most recently, George Floyd at the hands of police officers. Through these circumstances, the generational systemic racism and inequities in all areas of black American lives are exposed for everyone to see.

“Black Lives Matter (BLM) is both a slogan and a straightforward statement of fact. The BLM message is central to the nationwide protests happening right now – speaking out against the police brutality and the systemic racism at the root of inequities for African Americans in the areas of health, housing, economics, education, and so many more. Black Lives Matter does not mean that White Lives don’t matter – it just means that Black Lives are the ones that are hurting and need attention right now.

We, as a church, cannot remain silent. Silence has become complicity. We ask for your grace as we move together through the process of educating ourselves and taking action to support our Black neighbors.

Here are links that help illuminate the issues of race in America and the Black Lives Matter organization. There is also a free self-paced workshop on race from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Why you should stop saying “all lives matter,” explained in 9 different ways

PBS Special: Race Matters: America in Crisis

https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/

https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race

A limited number of Black Lives Matter signs with “H type” yard posts are available for purchase for $12.

Contact Julie at burchett.juliekay@gmail.com or Janice at seelestl@aol.com if you are interested.

 

Julie Burchett and Janice Seele, Advocacy Co-Chairs

 

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.