“I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.”
“…that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word…”
There has been much unrest in our nation and our communities. I invite you to listen, pray, lament, and avail yourself of opportunities to engage in mutual love with others as you sort through ‘what does this mean?’ Look beyond the violence and see the peaceful protests. Hear the frustration and ask yourself where you might have an opportunity to offer a “cup of cold water.”
Follow the link below for a statement from the Black Clergy Caucus (BCC) of the LCMS
4 thoughts on “Black Clergy Caucus (BCC) of the LCMS Statement on George Floyd”
This letter is wonderful in it’s ultimate turning to God and the cross. Big Exception with this statement letter: there is still a sense of racism from the black caucus in identifying a lack of responsiveness or relating to Black’s feelings by the synod or other peoples. I don’t presume to feel exact as Black People feel, but Christians do not support or promote racism in the Lutheran MS Church. Do not judge police or people not of color in a generalized category. Racism is wrong, and laws as well as everyday actions are shown by others on a daily basis. We as a Christian people do not support racism, nor do we support an us against them attitude. I feel this letter doesn’t identify positive actions which have occurred in response to God’s love and Jesus’ example. Harm to others and other’s property is living for “an eye, for an eye”, and doesn’t promote God’s understanding or love.
Thank you, Pastor Borger. I pray all the ears of our congregation can hear the message contained in your message. I pray all of mankind can hear what is being cried.In hope, Sandy
Having heard the pain regarding the closing of Selma at the National convention last summer, I pray that we will accept the challenge to have real dialogue–honest and open–so that whatever your perspective (and there are more than two), we can listen and understand each other and form bonds in and through the unity that Christ offers us to strengthen us all, so that there will be no Jew or Greek, male or female, black or white, so that we understand more deeply that we are all one in Christ.
The conversation is encouraging. The holy catholic/christian church as we confess in the our creeds, and the LCMS in particular, do not support racism. However, that does not mean that racism has not occurred in the church. The members of the BCC of LCMS are good people and I have had the pleasure of knowing some of the brothers from my seminary days. Each member of the BCC has had their own experiences in the world and in the church. Their statement is a call to turn to God and the cross and in doing so to listen, to pray, and to lament with each other and especially with those who have experienced suffering as a result of racism. Speaking in terms of daily life, I know that when I get pulled over in a traffic violation my first thought is, “what did I do wrong – speeding, illegal turn, broken tail light, etc.” When a black person is pulled over, their first thought isn’t generally, “what did I do wrong,” but instead, “I hope this situation doesn’t turn south on me.” That said, all kinds of sin, especially racism, manifests itself also in the church, often from ignorance, that is lack of knowledge, comprehension and the like. I appreciate the BCCs statement because it allows me to hear their experience and begin to comprehend. It also gives a voice to what they are feeling as black clergy leading black parishes in the LCMS. I am hopeful that the BCCs statement and their voice will help LCMS and our congregations find avenues for a conversation, dialogue, and engagement that will also lead to more good things.
Anecdotally, this past Saturday Lori and I went on a long bike ride that brought us up behind the protest march in South Bend. We rode among the stragglers for a few minutes and then turned up a street and went around the march and headed over to Chicory Cafe for a light lunch. While eating lunch at one of the outside tables the peaceful protest had concluded and many of the people were headed back to their cars. Some of the protesters with their signs in hand sat outside at the table next to us as they were apparently waiting for their ride. I wanted to figure out how to have a conversation with them but I was either too ignorant or unsure of how to even engage. So we ate our lunch and continued on. I share this with you because having a conversation with a complete stranger isn’t easy for myself or Lori, regardless of the situation. We just didn’t know how to start a conversation. We didn’t know how to offer a “cup of cold water” as it were. For that I am embarrassed and humbled. The conversations that I am seeing, the peaceful protests that are occurring and not reported, the opportunities that police officers and protesters take to lay down their defenses and embrace each other, are all ‘cup of cold water’ opportunities and I am encouraged by them. The scene that occurred in Crown Point, IN earlier this week where people stood along a fence line, with assault rifles and handguns in hand, as peaceful marchers walked by was not encouraging. If I had been in that situation, I personally would have been fearful for myself in walking by that gauntlet of intimidation. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for the protesters. And so, I wonder out loud to myself how we as a church, how I as an individual, and how my family, might offer a “cup of cold water.”
All that said, I am grateful for our BCC and their willingness to speak and start a conversation in the corner of the church catholic known as the LCMS. In the meantime, I’m trying to think, “how might I offer a cup of cold water?”, to those who are hurting and angry from the racism they’ve experienced. “Hearts and prayers” seem a little empty. I don’t have an answer, but it makes me think. I appreciate the willingness of everyone to enter into the conversation with care and respect.
Peace be with you…