How Did Your Church Respond To What Happened in Charlottesville?

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Yesterday I was proud of my largely white evangelical church.  My pastor took time to condemn the racists who came to Charlottesville on Saturday and reminded us that “God grieves” at such behavior.  He asked us to pray for the victims and their families.  He asked us to pray for changed hearts among the white nationalists and repent of our own sins of racism.  He read from Ephesians 2.

Did your church acknowledge what happened in Charlottesville yesterday?  If it did, I would love to hear about it.  Feel free to comment below, at Facebook, or at Twitter.

Emma Green has a nice piece at The Atlantic on how some churches have responded.

4 thoughts on “How Did Your Church Respond To What Happened in Charlottesville?

  1. My clergy from St. Paul’s Episcopal in Richmond joined clergy and the Bishop from the Diocese of Virginia on Saturday in Charlottesville to stand witness. Our Associate Pastor Molly Bosscher spoke a powerful sermon Sunday morning. A great number of our parishioners showed up yesterday evening for a peace and prayer rally at the Reconciliation memorial in Richmond, and more will be showing up at a prayer vigil at Union Seminary tonite.

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  2. There were two specific moments in yesterday’s service that were important and, in my mind, right-minded responses to Charlottesville.

    The first was during our corporate confession. In the Episcopal tradition, we confess using the first person plural and in unison, while holding in our hearts our personal sins. On most days, this is a powerful reminder that we sin as individuals and in different ways, but as a body of believers, we are all sinners. However, the priest yesterday prefaced the confession by indicating that on that day, our corporate confession was in response to our corporate sins, as a nation and as a church. Thus, when we prayed, as I have prayed for over 30 years, “most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone,” it took on a new and powerful meaning. We, at least in part, are responsible for white supremacy.

    Charlottesville was also the subject of the sermon. The lectionary had us reading 1 Kings 19: 9-18. Elijah is zealous in his righteous anger towards the unjust. In the midst of his anger, he is called to stand before the Lord. He then stands in front of three displays of mighty power: a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire. Yet the voice of the Lord was not in those signs of power. Instead, the Lord was in the silence that followed. Only in that silence did Elijah receive the instructions for implementing justice. In the context of Charlottesville, our priest made clear that our anger at the acts of terror and our desire to take action against such actors was rooted in righteousness. And God wants us to take action. But that right actions will flow from prayerful contemplation. We must seek the silence, not the immediate sign of power.

    Considering the intensity of my anger and fear Saturday night, that was an important message for me Sunday morning.

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  3. THe whole day had been planned around racial reconciliation, even before the events in Charlottesville. Timely, but sad.

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