Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, released this statement regarding racial tension and unrest across the nation:
My friends, as we celebrate Pentecost – that joyous day when the Holy Spirit washed over God’s people with a powerful wind and tongues of fire – I would like to ask you to take a moment with me to acknowledge the flames of racial tension and unrest across our nation.
Sadly, George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia are only the latest in a heart-breaking line of our fellow Americans who have been killed in racially charged incidents.
Here in South Carolina, five years on, we still feel the pain of the mass-shooting slaughter of nine people attending a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, and the shooting death of Walter Scott at the hands of a North Charleston police officer.
As United Methodists and followers of Christ, we commit ourselves to social justice and to opposing racism in all of its forms. We encourage frank and thoughtful conversation and respectful collaboration with a common goal of justice for all. It is our obligation to be a beacon of love when hatred threatens to blot out the light of hope.
I invite all South Carolina United Methodist churches to pause during their services on Sunday for a prayer for justice, for peace and for comfort for all of God’s children who have been affected directly and indirectly by the plague of violent killings of African-Americans in our communities.
Grace and peace,
L. Jonathan Holston