Pastoral Letter on violence and political discourse

March 18, 2016
Pastoral Letter from the Executive Minister of the Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America and the Conference Minister of the New York Conference, United Church of Christ:
As the Executive’s of the Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America and the the New York Conference, United Church of Christ, we join our voices and hearts in solidarity with the statement just offered by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ with the following Holy Week statement:
On Good Friday the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man. They sacrificed the weak and the blameless to protect their own status and power. On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead, revealing not only their injustice but also unmasking the lie that might makes right.
In a country still living under the shadow of the lynching tree, we are troubled by the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric. Americans are turning against their neighbors, particularly those on the margins of society. We seek to secure our own safety and security at the expense of others. There is legitimate reason to fear where this rhetoric and the actions arising from it might take us.
In this moment, we resemble God’s children wandering in the wilderness. We, like they, are struggling to find our way. They turned from following God and worshiped a golden calf constructed from their own wealth. The current rhetoric is leading us to construct a modern false idol out of power and privilege. We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others. No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we must respect the dignity of every human being and we must seek the common good above all else.
We call for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.
Reverend David R Gaewski, Conference Minister,
New York Conference, United Church of Christ
Reverend Amy Nyland, Executive Minister,
Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America
New York Conference | United Church of Christ
315-446-3073 | office@uccny.org | www.uccny.org
New York Conference UCC, 5575 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214

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