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A Statement from the Pastoral Staff on George Floyd

 

The Goshen SDA Church is appalled and deeply anguished by the recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, in broad daylight. The actions of all four of the officers who interacted with Mr. Floyd demonstrate a blatant disregard for human life. Sadly, this kind of violence is too often perpetrated on people of color and in particular Black men and women. Although the immediate actions of law enforcement caused his death, this particular tragedy is the byproduct of the systemic racism that has plagued the United States of America since its formation. It is to be noted that Mr. Floyd is one in a long litany of names who have tragically lost their lives as a result of hatred, bigotry, and racial animus…people like Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery, Alton Sterling, Eric Gardner, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castille.

 

We take this opportunity to extend condolences to the Floyd family and to declare our unconditional support for them and the community of Minneapolis devastated by this senseless killing. We are overcome with grief and are actively participating in becoming agents of change to ensure that the status quo as it pertains to white supremacy, police brutality, and all of its negative offspring are eradicated from our world.

 

We identify with the protesters who are voicing their disdain for the lawless actions of renegade police officers. We condemn the actions of those who are bent on hijacking this moment by committing acts of violence, looting, and rioting. We affirm the constitutionally protected rights of all Americans to protest injustice while at the same pleading with those who are taking up the fight to do so in a way that does not detract from our message and the mutually beneficial goal of equality under the law.

 

The problems facing us are great indeed and the answers are not simple, however recent events make it clear that things will only change when people are willing to take action. In addition to marching, protesting and engaging in acts of civil disobedience, we are calling all those who are interested in making America the beacon of hope that she pertains to be, to engage in your civic duty by voting into office the kind of public servants who will promote a fairer and more just society. Take your frustration to the ballot box, holding accountable those representatives who have failed our communities for so long by garnering our votes and giving us nothing but a legacy of disappointment. For those politicians who are not up for reelection, we encourage you to contact them incessantly and bring your influence to bear on their tenure.

 

Being a people of faith and of prayer, we continue to ask God for the strength to fight the good fight and to grant us favor in the pursuit of his agenda of righteousness in the earth. We are guided by the teachings and example of Jesus who in his inaugural sermon declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18,19)

 

Finally, we want to thank all those who have used their influence to assist in calling this country to a collective consciousness. We salute those who, like Colin Kaepernick, have put fairness before finance and who in the footsteps of great leaders have laid their lives on the line for the betterment of our nation. We still believe in the ideals that were articulated when the founding fathers birthed this nation…we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal… and will continue to work until those ideals are realized.

 

Gordon Fraser, Senior Pastor

Dr. C. Lloyd Adams, Executive Pastor

Dr. Barbara Bellar, Associate Pastor

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