Beloved Epworth Family,
This week we have been confronted with another act of senseless gun violence. The eight persons who were murdered were children of God. I lift up the loss of the lives of Delaina Ashley Yaun; Paul Andre Michels; Xiaojié Tan; and Daoyou Feng, Yong Ae Yue, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park and Suncha Kim. As we mourn their loss of life, let us also pray for their families and friends in their grief. Six of the persons who were killed were of Asian descent. Particularly since the beginning of the pandemic, violence and hate crimes against Asian American persons has steeply escalated. The racism and white supremacy embedded in these acts calls us to continued repentance and accountability.
For members and friends of Epworth who are of Asian descent, please be assured that we are with you and behind you. The added stress and triggering of other trauma that targeted acts of violence causes is real, and I pray God’s comfort and strengthening for you.
In times like this, we are called to act even as we are grieving. First, I want to affirm that grieving is a form of action, and sometimes a necessary step that precedes action. Second, I invite all to read this piece by Garlinda Burton, General Secretary of the United Methodist General Commission on Religion and Race. In addition to putting what has happened into theological context, she offers clear action points at the end of the piece.