Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NRSV
We are created, all of us, each of us, in the image of God. To treat some as though they are not, as though they somehow are “less than” or “lower than” is counter to the Good News of Jesus Christ. God created them in God’s image. All of us. As a culturally, racially, and economically diverse Synod and Conference and as a body of Christian believers, it is our responsibility and purpose to speak and stand against racism and injustice in all its forms.
Therefore, We, The Regional Synod of New York and the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, decry the violence perpetrated against all people. We denounce violence toward our sisters and brothers of color in New York and around the country. We mourn the loss of life of law enforcement. We stand in anguished disbelief at the injustices our fellow human beings experience on a daily basis. And we call for repentance and reconciliation. The tragedies we see every day against people of color infuriate us and make us feel trapped in a society that allows this to continue. We call upon God and God’s people to help us end this tolerance of injustice and violence.
We call upon New York churches to stand against every system and structure of oppression, and to work for the healing of these systems and structures, that they might work in good and just ways. We call for honest and sacred conversations on race to take place in all our churches. We ask our Regional Synod of New York and New York Conference churches to join together on Sunday morning, July 10, during worship for a moment of silence and prayer for the victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, our government, our communities, and ourselves.
Let us join together to ask God to help us and to show us how to move toward justice, wholeness, and equality in our unique contexts and in our society as a whole. If God’s people will stand together in prayer, it is our hope we will also stand together in the world with all who suffer among us.
Reverend Amy Nyland,
Executive Minister, Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America
Reverend David Gaewski,
Conference Minister, New York Conference, United Church of Christ