As a community of faith built on the shoulders of witnesses who stood for equality in many historical moments, we are called to STAND in solidarity with people of color as we all call out the current sins of racism.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letters From a Birmingham Jail has been on my mind in the unfolding of the killings of African-American men in Charlotte, Tulsa and San Diego. Dr. King’s prophetic witness to the eight urban, predominantly white churches and one synagogue asked a poignant question: In the face of extreme violence, how can you, as Christian leaders, be still? This question is still applicable today, and it is pertinent to Pullen Church. As a community of faith, built on the shoulders of witnesses who stood for equality in many historical moments, it is time for us to embrace Dr. King’s question. Christians cannot respond to our brothers and sisters by remaining still and silent. We are called to STAND in solidarity with people of color as we all call out the current sins of racism. As individuals, it is natural to contemplate our sole and collective actions, and it is also natural to feel futile in the face of systemic oppression. To facilitate this work, I have drafted a pledge. I ask that each of you prayerfully consider your role as an individual and as part of various communities as we embrace our prophetic witness. If the pledge is helpful to you, I hope you will sign it and kept it in your pocket (or somewhere close to you) as a reminder that silence is not an option in the face of racism. If there are children and/or youth in your home you might think of using the pledge as a way to talk about racism and what they might be hearing and feeling about the recent police shootings and community protests. However you use it or don’t use it, this is not a time to be silent people of faith. It is not a time to be still. As members of Pullen we have inherited a legacy that affirms we will be a people who make a difference in the world. Now more than ever, we must embrace and live into that legacy.
The STAND Pledge for PMBC Members
At this moment in our nation’s history, predominately white Christian churches and people of faith must not remain silent. These times demand that we speak out in solidarity with people of color to demand justice for all. Such solidarity will not only require our voices, it will also require our full bodies—our hands, our feet and our hearts. It will require us to show up in the places where there is injustice, to the streets and cities where black men are gunned down because of the color of their skin. It will require us to go to our houses of government and speak truth to power. It will require us to pay attention to racist actions and attitudes and call them out for what they are. If we are to build God’s beloved community here on this earth—a community where all people are respected equally as God’s children—then this is the work of white Christians, of predominately white churches, and of all people of faith.
Therefore, as individual members of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, we pledge our lives to work for justice for those in our society who are victims of systemic and institutionalized racism. Rooted in the Jesus narrative that calls us to love God and our neighbor, to break down walls that separate us as one human family, to practice non-violence, and to affirm that every single person is created in the image of God, we sign the STAND pledge and commit to making it a part of our daily lives.
We pledge to…
Stand and march in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters as we hold our society’s systems and institutions accountable for systemic racism
Talk to our community leaders and elected officials and demand policies and laws that protect the most vulnerable in our society
Acknowledge systemic racism and implicit biases that secretly hide inside of us and seek forgiveness and healing for those places
Name and confront racist actions and attitudes when we encounter them
Deliberately build relationships with people who are the “other”