Statement on Our Commitment to Peace and Justice in a Time of Intense Struggle
The Peace and Justice Network, Presbytery of Grand Canyon, works to shed light on peace and justice issues as they affect people throughout the world. Our purpose is awareness and calls to action across a broad spectrum of issues. Our catchphrase “We are called” is a reminder of the moral imperative voiced by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves. We cannot look away. We cannot remain silent. We must face the truths of injustice and human oppression that continue despite ongoing calls for change.
As the corona virus pandemic has unfolded, we have been reminded about the unequal effect of the disease in communities of color. We are aware that the economic recession is brutally more consequential for people working in the fields to bring us food and working in other “essential jobs”. We ask ourselves how it can be that some people are so insulated from the effects of both the pandemic and the recession while others are trapped in the midst of a dark reality. We say “we are all in this together”, but how is that more than an empty statement when inequality and systemic injustice continue?
During recent months we witnessed many acts of selflessness and kindness in response to the pandemic. Then came the shocking occurrences of police brutality and reminders that these occurrences are only the latest in a long history. Protests in the streets of cities worldwide reinforce the fact that these problems exist everywhere. It is easy to become disheartened, throw up our hands and point to how things have “always been”. The solutions may seem beyond us, but this we know. God asks us to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”- Micah 6:8. We acknowledge the first step we must take is to embrace love. The second is to state our solidarity with those whom people and systems oppress and kill—whether they be Central American migrants, ethnic communities in countries around the world, or Black communities here at home.
The Peace and Justice Network, Presbytery of Grand Canyon reaffirms its commitment to stand in alliance with those seeking to dismantle systems of injustice and those opposing authoritarianism and militarization as solutions. We call for action that results in meaningful discussion and effective change. We believe the teaching of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” and so we also reaffirm that in making our statement of solidarity, we do so with love for those with whom we are allied and those with whom we disagree.