Our hearts break at the ongoing existence of systemic anti-Black racism, brought to light once again by the horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This event, and too many similar events throughout North America compel us to speak.

We deeply regret that the church has too frequently remained silent about racial injustice. We have much to learn about the role our white privilege has played in perpetuating inequity in our nation.

We recognize the courageous acts of those who have helped and continue to help heighten society’s awareness of the ongoing problem of racism. Sadly, it is often those who work so hard to dismantle oppressive attitudes and systems that are most affected. Anger, rage, and helplessness have been expressed along with calls of lament and for action and for justice. Black lives matter, and to say anything other rejects the biblical affirmation that all are lovingly made in the image of God.

Members of Black, Indigenous, and other communities in Ontario regularly experience incidents of aggression, discrimination and even violence. Recent events have reminded us again of the work yet required to eliminate systemic racism that is based on white supremacy.

As a congregation dedicated to inclusion in all areas, we condemn all racially motivated discriminatory actions and attitudes. In his ministry, Jesus recognized the dignity of all people and spoke openly against the systems of oppression which denied such dignity. We are called to follow in his footsteps.

We stand with all who have experienced prejudiced or racist attitudes or behaviours and we commit to work in solidarity with those who are peacefully shaping a world built on equality, justice and love.

Along with many other religious groups, our denomination (The Presbyterian Church in Canada) has issued a statement which you can read at https://presbyterian.ca/2020/06/02/pcc-anti-racism/

You can also read the Moderator’s Reflections of Anti-Black Racism https://presbyterian.ca/2020/06/03/the-moderator-on-anti-black-racism/

 

This statement was adopted by Knox Waterloo on June 9, 2020