Black Lives Matter

A Statement of Support from the Metropolitan Association White Clergy New York Conference, United Church of Christ Featured

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Today is Juneteenth. On this day we who are designated as white acknowledge our complicity in helping to create and perpetuate an unequal and unjust society where our Black sisters and brothers are catching hell. We acknowledge our complicity in what Dorothy Day called this dirty, filthy, rotten system that values some life more than others. We proclaim today with one heart and one voice and in solidarity with all whom we have harmed that Black Lives Matter, and we pledge that we will use our power and influence and sacred office to listen with a pastor’s heart to the cries of God’s people of African descent, to join in lament for the crimes committed in our names, and to participate in actions that put our bodies on the line for justice and conciliation.

We join our Metro Black clergy in confessing that:

Our nation is at war with its own soul. The United States of America must confess its original sin, slavery. It must also acknowledge lynchings, Jim Crow, and systemic racism. We join the Black clergy in the recognition that prayer by itself is not enough.  We stand with them and say that we are outraged at we see happening every day in America. Enough is enough. 

We pledge to align ourselves with the Black clergy in Metro and to accept and affirm their leadership; to employ the resources they commend to us for our ongoing education on these matters; and to take the lead in helping our own predominantly white congregations in the ongoing work of true repentance and education, and to understand that Black history is our history, and not only in February.

We say, with them, that the fight for justice requires action, sustained effort in community engagement and tenacious commitment to exercising the right to vote.  Men and women were beaten, imprisoned and killed for the right to vote.  We dare not take that right for granted and we dare not faint in the fight against the evil of voter suppression. 

Finally, we join our Black clergy to stand in solidarity with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and many countless known and unknown Black Women and Men who have suffered brutality and abuse for over 400 years.  We affirm the right of all descendants of Africans who were enslaved in the Americas to live the lives they were created to live by God. We are asking for your support.


 Rev. Dr. Gary Percesepe

Acting President,

Metropolitan Association

Read 253 times Last modified on Monday, 22 June 2020 14:08


  • Comment Link Louise Manigault Wednesday, 08 July 2020 14:33 posted by Louise Manigault

    Good Morning Terry.
    I think that all of your comments are on point. I particularly loved the statement from Rev. Dr. Turman on behalf of all of the Black clergy in the U.S. He spoke many truths. There are so many issues that must be dealt with in this time. Systemic racism has plagued this country for centuries, and even though some strides were made during the time of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. they seem to be band aids and not real change. We need to deal with so much more than the policing reform. We need to focus on the economic inequality that exists for Black and Latino people. There is and has always been a glass ceiling that cannot be broken until it is truly exposed and solutions put in place. This pandemic has truly shown the inequality in healthcare for people of color. People of all cultures have to sit down and have an honest conversation and expose these systemic and ongoing problems. If this is truly going to be the United States, there must be justice for all. We cannot continue to be divided. Quoting Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We must do better. It's going to be a long struggle, and the church has to be willing to stand up and speak out. The time is now.

  • Comment Link Rev. Dr. J. Terry Todd, Rivers of Living Water UCC Monday, 22 June 2020 16:40 posted by Rev. Dr. J. Terry Todd, Rivers of Living Water UCC

    Thank you, my white clergy colleagues in the Metropolitan Association of the United Church of Christ, for this expression of support for the Juneteenth statement authored by our clergy colleagues of African descent. These are indeed troubled and troubling times. In its especially cruel march through black and brown and immigrant communities, the pandemic of COVID, as we all know, has illumined the other pandemics of racism, economic inequality, an unequal access to health care. As these pandemics continue to rage, we white clergy leaders must first listen to the voices of black and brown leaders, clergy and lay, witnessing the pain and the rage of black and brown communities, while acknowledging our complicity in a racist system of white supremacy. As a white man, I benefit in so many ways from that racist system, but I must pledge not only in word but in deed to become anti-racist in my life and in my ministry. To tear down the idolatry of whiteness that privileges white skin over black and brown bodies. To challenge the systems of privilege that might benefit me and other white folks in the short term, but in the end damages our souls and sets us apart from our beloved siblings and from God as well. What if, as the Sikh activist and author Valarie Kaur asks, the darkness we experience now is the darkness of the womb and not the tomb? That something new is about to be born? May we join together to pledge our lives to revolutionary love, so that, as Christians see it, we might participate with the Spirit in bringing about a new Pentecost, proclaiming with word and deed that the kin-dom of God is breaking into this world -- that as Sam Cooke once sang, "change gonna come . .. oh, yes, it will."

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