Black Lives Matter banners at two historically Black congregations, Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan AME Church, were torn down last weekend, as the chauvinist hate group Proud Boys attacked several churches in D.C. One banner was burned in the street. In a public statement regarding the burning of the banner at Asbury UMC, Pastor Mills poignantly noted a haunting connection to the burning of crosses.
The Proud Boys also targeted Luther Place Memorial Church, stealing their Black Lives Matter banner three times over the course of the weekend and repeatedly harassing church leaders.
Augustana Lutheran Church joins other communities of faith in condemning the white supremacist ideology that gives license for such violent and hateful rhetoric and action. We condemn the perpetuation of systemic racism in our government, society, and in our church itself. We reject the hatred visited upon D.C.; there is no place for it here.
We also reject the idea that the world as it is is the world as it must be; we are assured that the God of grace and love, of justice and peace has called us to a ministry of prayer, study, reflection, relationship-building, and action toward an anti-racist future.
We hear and accept the invitation of Pastor Mills to join the people of Asbury in prayer for the community, church, and for those responsible for the hateful behavior perpetrated last weekend. We hear and accept the invitation to be more vigilant and committed to the work of anti-racism, and to building a beloved community.
We continue to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. We proclaim that Black lives are precious to God, sacred. We proclaim the dignity of all humanity, having been made in the divine image. In this season of Advent, we proclaim the coming reign of God, in which wrongs are made right, tears are gently dried away, and there is abundant life for all creation.
The Rev. Lauren Muratore
December 18, 2020
Augustana Lutheran Church