Setting fire to churches is not a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, this act of terror goes way back in history. But it becomes very real when it happens in our own community. Five black churches and one interracial church in the St. Louis area recently have been set on fire. In circumstances like this we are alarmed and some of us may even be afraid. Could this happen to our churches that are taking a stand for racial justice and working for peace in our community? Let us join in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ whose churches have been attacked and for their pastors and church leaders, that they may be safe and be strengthened by the presence of the Spirit. While law enforcement examines and ponders evidence, let us pray for those investigating these crimes, that God will guide them and protect them and provide the resources needed to bring an end to acts of terror in our city.
Tomorrow several of us who have begun our ministries in Giddings-Lovejoy in the last few years will gather for training in dismantling racism and privilege. I have never served in a presbytery that offered this resource, and I am proud to be a member of a community of Christians who care deeply about combatting the pernicious evil of racism within ourselves, our homes, our churches, our communities. Much more must be done to insure a better future for people of all races and colors and languages. All of us are created in God’s image and beloved of God. Pray for the powerful indwelling, healing, comforting, and stengthening of God’s Spirit that we may be emboldened to build together communities that are diverse, just, sustainable, and peaceful.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Anita Hendrix