Dear Christ Church family and friends:
The events of May the 25th continue to reverberate throughout our world.
Disturbing video shows a rogue police officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck long after he had been subdued and handcuffed. George had said that he couldn’t breathe and yet the officer didn’t stop until George had passed out and died. The accompanying officers did nothing to intervene on George’s behalf.
I have to say that as a former police officer I am sickened and shaken by this and deeply saddened by what has transpired since.
This past week has highlighted the painful reality of racial bias and injustice - all too prevalent, not only in the United States, but in Canada as well. As Canadians we cannot afford to pretend that it doesn’t happen here.
We have a lot of work to do to ensure that all persons receive professional and humane treatment by the police and that Police Officers everywhere are held accountable for misconduct - especially in the inappropriate and illegal use of force.
Every province and territory need to have an effective capability, independent of any police force, to investigative and lay charges where appropriate, in any instance where someone has been injured or killed in interaction with police.
No one should ever fear being assaulted or murdered - by the police, of all people!
As Canadians we need to work diligently to identify and eradicate any and all forms of prejudice and bias within our society to ensure that all people are judged, not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. This is long overdue.
No one should ever get or not get a job, a promotion, an apartment, a speeding ticket, arrested, or any other consideration or consequence based upon their race, gender, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or any other identity politic. The kind of archaic prejudicial reasoning that holds such variables to be decisive belongs in the trash bin of history.
So, what can we do at Christ Church? How can we play our role in building the new Jerusalem where people belong and are valued because of their humanity? Quite simply we are all created in the image of God and God loves us so much that he sent his only Son to be our Saviour.
Let’s continue building a congregation that is ever attuned to reflecting this city in its wonderful diversity and variety, ensuring that everyone is represented in leadership and ministry. Let’s continue to take our place in this city - doing our best to advocate for others who may not have a voice. Let’s be influencers for lasting change by working with others of good will to eliminate racism everywhere across our church, our community, our country and our continent.
We are, after all, called to be the church; a community of living stones tasked to exercise compassion and grace; a house of prayer for all nations and all peoples.