GBCS leader responds to church burnings

churchfire

The Reverend Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, released a statement today calling for “Christians who claim a Methodist heritage” to demonstrate love and support for African American churches which have been the victims of arson over the past several weeks.

“The burning of many black churches in recent weeks reminds us of our need to be ever vigilant against acts of hate and racism,” Henry-Crowe said. “Historic black churches are central to the life of communities, sacred sites of praise and refuge, homes for those often faced with discrimination and segregation, and centers of outreach into the world.”

Susan Henry-Crowe is an ordained elder in the South Carolina Annual Conference. Henry-Crowe’s full statement is printed below:


 

The events of the past weeks have highlighted the worst and the best of the American spirit. The worst: unbearable, unspeakable acts of hatred. The best: acts of openness, forgiveness, bravery, moral courage and acceptance.

The burning of many black churches in recent weeks reminds us of our need to be ever vigilant against acts of hate and racism. Historic black churches are central to the life of communities, sacred sites of praise and refuge, homes for those often faced with discrimination and segregation, and centers of outreach into the world.

How should Christians who claim a Methodist heritage respond in these days?

  • Affirm unequivocally non-violent resistance.
    Acts of hatred have no place in this world, especially against sacred havens.
  • Express Christian love in solidarity and friendship with neighboring communities and churches. Commit to being unified in the out-reaching love of Jesus Christ.
  • Provide solace and refuge to all communities suffering acts of hatred.
    I am reminded of the gestures of hospitality extended by the Muslim community in Egypt when its members protectively surrounded the Coptic Christians who faced religious persecution. May we as United Methodists be equally as vigilant and active in our hospitality and love.
  • Ensure that the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996 and other legal protections are enforced.
    Goodness, equity and justice cannot be fully legislated, but acts of vicious hatred demand that we uphold laws intended to protect all in society.
  • Insist on the removal of symbols from public display that for too long have represented hatred and bigotry.
    These do not represent long-lost gallant causes or some ill-conceived notion of laudable heritage as some have mistakenly asserted.
  • Remember the forgiveness expressed and lived into by the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal witnesses to the forgiving love in Jesus Christ.

A Night Prayer of St Augustine

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep.
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest Your weary ones.
Bless Your dying ones.
Soothe Your suffering ones.
Pity Your afflicted ones.
Shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your love’s sake.
Amen.

 

General Board of Church & Society

The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is that agency of the church charged with promoting the church’s social witness, and to help all United Methodists connect their faith with the broader society.

Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube 

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "GBCS leader responds to church burnings"

applications-education-miscellaneous.png
The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Wes Andrews
Guest

Love to my brothers and sisters of all races and backgrounds. Our common unity is Jesus, never political rhetoric.

David Goudie
Guest

Prayers extended to our brothers and sisters in Christ. May the fires stop and may our sister churches grow in faith and strength in Christ.

Tim
Guest

Unfortunately there aren’t too many “Christians who claim a Methodist heritage.” Most have been hijacked by left-wing Bishops and clergy who would rather follow the PC police than the Bible.
In her Episcopal address at Annual Conference my Bishop never once mentioned “Wesley, Wesleyan, Methodist or Methodism.” She quoted more books on “business models” than the Bible. This is our leadership – this is our “future” ……such as it is.
God help us.

Richard Hicks
Guest

Commenting prior to the arson investigation final report is just plain stupid. Quit wallowing in our ancestors’ pain. Thank you, Richard Hicks, OKC

wpDiscuz
Google+
%d bloggers like this: