After the racially motivated murders of nine people during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) in South Carolina, the bishops of the AME church met and reaffirmed their commitment to move the nation to “face, confront and act on the issue of race.”
They declared Sunday, Sept. 6 as a “Day of Confession, Repentance, Prayer, and Commitment to end Racism,” and invited their partners in faith to focus and preach on race that day—to “be reminded that out of one blood, God created all of us to dwell together in unity.”
“Racism will not end with the passage of legislation alone; it will also require a change of heart and thinking,” the leaders said. “This is an effort which the faith community must lead and be the conscience of the nation.”
In a press release, the AME bishops added:
The call to make Sunday, Sept. 6 a day to preach on and act to eradicate racism is a bold one, says Rev. Taylor Burton Edwards of UMC Discipleship Ministries. "And it’s one United Methodists are already committed to, both in our baptismal covenant and in our official resolutions,he writes in reflections on the lectionary texts for the day.
“It’s past time to act on race. We would not continually have Fergusons and Baltimores if it were not for racism.
It may be that God has brought the African Methodist Episcopal Church to this time to lead this nation to live up to it’s words “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all”.
Many over the last two weeks have spoken about how extraordinary the Emmanuel Nine were and their families who in their loss and pain proclaimed forgiveness, but they represent the majority of African Methodists, and in fact Black Christians. We seek to live God’s Word. We will go forward from here with forgiving, but also leading and demanding that the nation act on race.”