The Thurmont Ministerium has prepared this statement of solidarity and commitment in support of all those working for justice and an end to systemic racism, discrimination, and oppression in our nation. We affirm that Black lives matter, and we commit ourselves to working for racial justice and healing. Our faith teaches that God has created all people in God’s image, all are loved equally by God, and all are made to live in beloved community and to enjoy abundant life.
We are deeply grieved at the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the egregious list of people of color who have suffered and died because of the devastating and traumatic effects of centuries of judging people on the basis of the color of their skin.
Racism is the legacy of 400 years of slavery that “did not end but evolved” (Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative). It continues today to sustain the myth of the supremacy of white people and was woven into the fabric of our society for that purpose. Racism resides in all our systems including housing, health care, education, employment, income and wealth, criminal justice, political, and governmental, disadvantaging those who are Black and giving advantage to those who are white. Dismantling and ending systemic racism against Black people will raise up everyone who has suffered from those unjust systems.
We acknowledge with remorse our nation’s history of slavery, racism and violence against native peoples and people of color; our community’s history and denial of racism; and, our complicity in the perpetuation of racism. We acknowledge with gratitude those efforts in the past and present that have sought to address racism and to uphold the values of love, justice, equality, equity and the gift of diversity.
We state unequivocally that Black lives matter equally and commit ourselves to dismantling and ending systemic racism, righting wrongs, and healing wounds, and doing our part to rebuild our society with systems that are just and equitable for all. We pray to be worthy of this statement and invite you to join us and hold us accountable.
Rev. Robert E. Kells Jr. is president of the Thurmont Ministerium