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May 3, 2015

Repentance and Hope: A Pastoral Statement on the Situation in Baltimore

By Dr. Robert Perry, Interim Regional Minister of the Christian Church Capital Area

It appears that this is a better day in Baltimore. Hopefully the activities of the past few days are beginning to get behind us. We pray a sense of righteous peace to fall upon the city. We continue to pray for Freddie Gray, his family, law enforcement officers, the whole city of Baltimore. We pray also that the Faith Leaders of the community will provide a presence of grace and hope.

Hopefully we will not get so caught up with the rioting and events on the street that we forget the issues that have brought us to this point. As a Pro- Reconciliation, Anti Racism Church we cannot forget the issues that have been there and simply deal with the symptoms seen in the riots.

Sadly this is a situation that has been simmering for too long. Mr. Gray's death is a tipping point. As a culture we must intentionally deal with the hurt that occurs in people’s lives after years of poverty, unemployment, racism and neglect. Let us be called to a sense of repentance for the part our churches and Christians have played in creating and perpetuating these evils. We have failed to listen to and work alongside our Christian sisters and brothers of color.

Let us all pray that soon young African-Americans men will be able to live out full lives. Let us work for a time when we are able to see all people as a gift of life that God has given to the world. Let us work for the time when justice is blended with hope.

We will look for and welcome requests for prayer and aid from our ecumenical sisters and brother, especially sisters and brothers of color, who are part of the affected communities and working on the front lines of this situation. A continuing message of Jesus following resurrection morning is “Peace be with you.” May there be true peace for all of us.

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