UUMA Response to St. Louis Church Attacks
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The UUMA Board of Trustees sent this letter last week to the churches in the St. Louis area that were the targets of arson.
To the members and friends of Bethel Non-Denominational Church, New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, St. Augustine Catholic Church, New Testament Church of Christ, Ebenezer Lutheran Church, New Life Missionary Baptist Church, and the Shrine of St. Joseph:
We’re writing to express our heartbreak and outrage upon learning the news of the terrorist-arson attacks on your church buildings over the past few weeks. We condemn these attacks. We are holding you, your families and your children in our hearts and our prayers. We wish for you love, peace and wholeness. We hope and pray you will heal the physical and spiritual damage wrought by these attacks. While we are not naïve to the power of racism in our nation’s history and its continued power to damage, wound and kill in the present day, we proclaim there can be no place in American Society for such brazenly racist and immoral attacks.
Please know we are also sharing the following messages with our Unitarian Universalist colleagues in your area and with people of faith in general:
To our “Bi-State” Unitarian Universalist colleagues serving congregations and communities in Missouri and Illinois: we recognize how racist violence in the St. Louis area continues to draw you into the struggle for racial justice in highly visible ways. We are proud of you. We offer our support, our care and our love as you continue making real the “promise of a new time of unity and justice, with dignity and worth for all.”
To people of all faiths and all races in the United States of America: It has been said, again and again, that the faith community must not remain silent in the face of racism, that to remain silent is to be complicit. We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Board of Trustees, will not remain silent in the face of racism, and we urge our approximately 1800 members globally not to remain silent in the face of racism. A very simple way to speak in response to the recent St. Louis-area church attacks is to sign the letter, originally published by our “Bi-State” colleagues, at the Standing on the Side of Love website. http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1272/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18609. We call on ourselves and our members to continue to pursue the cause of racial justice with urgency, humility and a deep, abiding love.
Rev. Dr. Linda Olson Peebles, President
Rev. Cheryl M. Walker, President-Elect
Rev. Jennifer Ryu, Vice President
Rev. Olivia Holmes, Treasurer
Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson, Secretary
Rev. Fritz Hudson, Member at Large
Rev. Josh Pawelek, Member at Large
Rev. Patricia Hart, Member at Large
Rev. Don Southworth, Executive Director