Serving God, Changing Lives

Pastoral message on the verdicts concerning the murder of Ahmaud Arbery

​In response to the verdicts in the trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan in Brunswick, Ga., for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, we offer a word of prayer and healing. We pray for Arbery’s family because no verdict can ease the pain and suffering of the murder of their loved one. As a church concerned for all, we pray also for the defendants, that God’s grace may transform their hearts.  

God has created all of us with inherent dignity, value and worth. Racially motivated hate crimes deny this to Black and Brown people. The sin of racism distorts so many aspects of life together. The ELCA’s social policy resolution “Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric” states: “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions.”  
May our prayers continue to lead us toward transformation and fulfilling our call to justice and care for all. He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). 

In Christ,                                       

Elizabeth A. Eaton                                                      Kevin Strickland
Presiding Bishop                                                        Bishop 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America                  Southeastern Synod, ELCA 

Learn more about ELCA Racial Justice Ministries.

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder

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