RCA general secretary Eddy Alemán released this statement on April 23.
This Sunday, it’ll be eleven months since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
Earlier this week, officer Derek Chauvin was held accountable for George Floyd’s death when the jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges. These verdicts are a step in the right direction, and they are only a step. No sooner than the verdict was announced, Ma’Khia Bryant was killed in Columbus, and Daunte Wright’s funeral took place the same day; both were shot by police. There is much more work to do in terms of racial justice and dismantling racism, and in terms of caring for the Black community and other racial/ethnic communities who do not experience full belonging or equity, and who live with constant trauma as a result.
In the words of the Belhar Confession, “We believe that God has revealed himself as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people … that God calls the church to follow him in this, for God brings justice to the oppressed and bread to the hungry.”
For many years, we in the Reformed Church in America have confessed the sin of racism, condemned racism, and pledged to do better. We are committed to finally seeing a Reformed Church in America freer from racism—this is part of the vision of Transformed & Transforming, adopted by the church in 2013. This is work that requires all of us, together.
Pastors and other leaders, we must work together to dismantle racism in our churches, in our denomination, in our communities. Scripture affirms that all people are created equal and that all bear the image of God. We must always remember that the Lord requires of us to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
Prayer is foundational to undertaking and sustaining this work, so I invite you to an annual day of prayer and fasting for justice and reconciliation. On May 25, the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, join with me and others across the RCA to confess, repent, and pray for justice and reconciliation.
In the next month, we will offer resources for observing this day of fasting and prayer in your congregations.
The Belhar offers us not only direction, but hope. It also says: “We believe that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world.”
That is our prayer—a new obedience, and new possibilities of life for society and the world.
Reformed Church in America